How the 10-Panel Drug Test Keeps Employers in Compliance with DOT Rules

The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 mandates that all federal contractors and grantees must provide a drug-free workplace to receive a contract or grant from a federal agency. To adhere to these regulations, many employers require applicants and employees to take a 10-panel drug test.


Truck transportation companies and owner-operators who are under contract by the Department of Transportation (DOT) must remain drug-free to minimize risks to safety and the possibilities of traffic accidents. This article will discuss DOT drug testing regulations and their impact on employers in the trucking industry.


About the DOT’s Drug Testing Requirements under the DOT

Who is expected to get drug testing? In general, all CDL holders and drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles on public roadways must submit to drug and alcohol testing. This regulation applies to employers contracted by federal agencies, including agencies from state and local governments.


Laboratory testing is a common method for screening applicants and employees. Specifically, these tests screen for the following classes of drugs:

  • Cannabinoids
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Amphetamines and Methamphetamines
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)


It is critical to note that trucking companies can test their employees for illicit substances that don’t fit into these drug categories.


The 10-Panel Drug Test

The 10-panel drug test screens a subject for substances that are the most likely to be abused. This includes prescription medications and illicit drugs. The types of drugs that this test checks for include:

  • Cannabinoids
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Amphetamines and Methamphetamines
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Methadone
  • Methaqualone (Quaaludes)
  • Propoxyphene


Many DOT-contracted employers will screen prospective and current employees for evidence of drug use. These screenings are a critical line of defense to ensure a qualified workforce and safer roadways.

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