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District of Columbia Alcohol and Drugs: What you need to know

Some states have comprehensive laws that regulate or prohibit drug testing in the workplace, but the District of Columbia does not have such a law for private employers. As a general rule, employers are free to implement drug testing programs at their own discretion. There is additional information on developing a program.
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Employees. Employees of the District government can be randomly selected for drug and alcohol testing. An applicant may be offered employment contingent on receipt of a satisfactory drug testing result and may work in a position that is not safety sensitive before receiving the results. The District will give notice of implementing a testing program at least 30 days in advance of the implementation of the program. No employee may be tested before receiving the required notice. Each employee will be given one opportunity to seek treatment if needed. District employees who operate a motor vehicle in the performance of their employment will be subject to the testing of their urine or breath, with the employees’ consent. Testing for the purposes of determining drug or alcohol content can be done whenever a supervisor has probable cause or a police officer arrests such person for a violation of the law and has reasonable grounds to believe that the employee has been operating a motor vehicle within the District while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Contractors. Private service providers that contract with the District and each private entity licensed by the District government who provide employees with work in safety-sensitive positions also must establish mandatory drug and alcohol testing policies consistent with District requirements.
Providers of direct services to children. The Council of the District of Columbia resolved and put in place emergency legislation titled “The Child and Youth, Safety, and Health Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Declaration Resolution of 2005.” The legislation establishes a mandatory drug and alcohol testing program for District government employees who provide direct services to children.

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District of Columbia Alcohol and Drugs Resources

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