Drug Testing in Georgia

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Drug testing and alcohol testing in Georgia

Do you need immediate testing in Georgia? National Drug Screening can help you with one phone call to 866-843-4545 or Order Online. Our drug testing experts are standing by to assist you with your drug test for school enrollment, probation, child custody, or just for your personal knowledge. Marijuana (THC) remains illegal in Georgia as of May 2023.

National Drug Screening (NDS) works with drug testing centers in Georgia for testing with: urine drug testing (DOT or non-DOT), saliva (oral) drug testing, hair testing, pre-employment drug screening testing, self-drug testing, and teenager (school) drug testing. Laboratory drug testing and medical review of drug tests are available. All drug tests are confirmed with a confirmation process to rule out any false positives. NDS offers personal drug testing, alcohol testing, court-ordered testing, random employee drug testing, DOT and USCG testing, and more. Employers needing a drug test can call for immediate service for drug testing to include pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, return-to-duty, and follow-up testing.

Many trucking companies and owner operators in Georgia rely on National Drug Screening for the required DOT random consortium program.

National Drug Screening can facilitate a drug test for you at our centers throughout Georgia including Atlanta, Savannah, Marietta, Alpharetta, Augusta, Macon, Lawrenceville, Roswell, Kennesaw, Athens, Gainesville, Stone Mountain, Duluth, Valdosta, Decatur, Columbus, Helen, Norcross, Suwanee, Lithonia, Tybee Island, Newnan, Dahlonega, Brunswick, Fort Benning, Smyrna, Albany, Ellijay, Peachtree City, Buford, Warner Robins, Douglasville, Statesboro, Rome, Conyers, Sandy Springs, Blue Ridge, Acworth, Snellville, Carrollton, Thomasville, Riverdale, Milledgeville, Homeland, Woodstock, Mcdonough, Dunwoody, Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia, Canton, and Dalton. Drug testing centers are open daily.

There are no laws in Georgia that prohibit drug testing. Georgia employers save 7.5% on workers’ comp premiums when implementing a comprehensive drug-free workplace.

Georgia has a great benefit for employers implementing a drug-free workplace. The “voluntary” program provides a workers’ comp premium discount at 7.5%, provided the program rules are followed. If the employer does not wish to seek the state workers’ compensation benefits or follow the program rules then this is an open state, meaning common law principles and general drug test standards of practice apply.

This is a “self-administered” program, meaning that the state law on drug-free workplaces establishes the rules that the employer must meet to enable its workers’ compensation insurance carrier to provide the discount. Self-insured employers are eligible for this discount but public employers are not.

The Georgia law for drug-free workplaces provides for:

  • No limits on random testing
  • No limits regarding onsite collections
  • Regarding instant testing, the Georgia program for the workers’ comp benefit allows instant testing for pre-employment only – with laboratory confirmation of all non-negative results. All other tests shall be conducted by a laboratory with an initial screen, confirmation, and MRO reporting.
  • Employers shall ensure that DHHS certified laboratories process the test results and that a qualified medical review officer (MRO) is responsible for evaluating all test results
  • For non-DOT, best to follow Georgia’s drug-free workplace certification program so there is a legal shield along with the benefit of Georgia’s drug-free workplace certification program.
  • Georgia does not specifically prohibit or specifically permit hair testing or oral fluid testing

To qualify for the Georgia drug-free workplace a company must have:

  1. Substance abuse policy
  2. Two hours of supervisor training
  3. Two hours of employee education
  4. Types of testing mandated by law
  5. Employee assistance program (EAP) or resource file
  6. Apply for workers’ compensation credit
  7. Recertify annually 

Georgia types of testing mandated by law

In Georgia, testing mandated by law once implementing the Georgia drug-free workplace program includes:

  • Pre-employment testing
  • After an accident resulting in lost work time
  • On reasonable suspicion of drug use (reasons for suspicion must be documented and made available to the employee on request)
  • As part of a routinely scheduled fitness-for-duty medical examination, and
  • After the employee returns to work following rehabilitation for a positive drug test. Testing is not required if the employee entered rehab voluntarily, rather than after a positive drug test

In Georgia, drug testing is fairly widespread. Many employers in Georgia conduct drug testing typically managed by human resource managers or safety managers. Drug testing is also common in probation, court-ordered drug testing, student drug testing, and individual drug testing. Individuals can call National Drug Screening for an immediate drug test in all areas of Georgia including Atlanta, Albany, Valdosta, Rome, Columbus, Macon, and Savannah. 

Drug testing laws in Georgia include:

§50-24-1 (1993)

Contractors who receive state contracts in the amount of $25,000 or more must certify they have implemented a substance abuse prevention program.

§45-20-90

Public employees in high-risk jobs may be subject to random drug testing. Refusal to submit to a random test or testing positive can result in termination from employment.

§33-9-40.2 & §34-9-410

Voluntary law provides a 7.5% discount on workers’ compensation premiums to employers who have implemented a drug-free workplace program that is certified by the state board of workers’ compensation.

§ 34-9-17 (1993)

Provides an employee may be disqualified from receiving benefits if his or her injury or death is due to intoxication or the use of controlled substances.

Georgia has an odd unemployment law mentioning drug-free workplaces, it states that there shall be no disqualification “For the week or fraction thereof in which such individual has filed an otherwise valid claim for benefits after the individual has been discharged or suspended for violation of the employer’s drug-free workplace policy as determined by the commissioner according to the circumstances in the case.” It is important to have a drug-free workplace policy that makes it a violation of workplace rules to violate the drug-free workplace policy so there is no valid claim.

Many states provide that a positive drug test, performed in compliance with statutory notification, collection, and testing requirements provides an employer with a presumption of impairment and the ability to avoid paying benefits. In Georgia, a specific statute provides for the denial of workers’ compensation benefits when an employee tests positive for drugs or alcohol after an accident. The worker’s compensation law in Georgia provides a rebuttable presumption denying benefits if the amount of alcohol in the employee’s blood within three hours of the time of the alleged accident, as shown by chemical analysis of the employee’s blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance, is 0.08 grams or greater. If so there is a rebuttable presumption that the accident and injury or death were caused by the consumption of alcohol.

If any amount of marijuana or a controlled substance as defined in [the law] is in the employee’s blood within eight hours of the time of the alleged accident, as shown by chemical analysis of the employee’s blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance, there is a rebuttable presumption that the accident and injury or death were caused by the ingestion of marijuana or the controlled substance. Or if the employee unjustifiably refuses to submit to a reliable, scientific test to be performed in the manner outlined in [the law] to determine the presence of alcohol, marijuana, or a controlled substance in an employee’s blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance, then there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the accident and injury or death were caused by the consumption of alcohol or the ingestion of marijuana or a controlled substance.

Intoxication defensive for a positive drug test in Georgia 

o.c.g.a. 34-9-17 (2010)

34-9-17. grounds for denial of compensation; burden of proof in establishing grounds for denial

(a) No compensation shall be allowed for an injury or death due to the employee’s willful misconduct, including intentionally self-inflicted injury, or growing out of his or her attempt to injure another, or for the willful failure or refusal to use a safety appliance or perform a duty required by statute.

(b) No compensation shall be allowed for an injury or death due to intoxication by alcohol or being under the influence of marijuana or a controlled substance, except as may have been lawfully prescribed by a physician for such employee and taken in accordance with such prescription:

(1) If the amount of alcohol in the employee’s blood within three hours of the time of the alleged accident, as shown by chemical analysis of the employee’s blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance, is 0.08 grams or greater, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the accident and injury or death were caused by the consumption of alcohol;

(2) If any amount of marijuana or a controlled substance as defined in paragraph (4) of code section 16-13-21, code sections 16-13-25 through 16-13-29, schedule i-v, or 21 c.f.r. part 1308 is in the employee’s blood within eight hours of the time of the alleged accident, as shown by chemical analysis of the employee’s blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the accident and injury or death were caused by the ingestion of marijuana or the controlled substance; or

(3) If the employee unjustifiably refuses to submit to a reliable, scientific test to be performed in the manner set forth in code section 34-9-415 to determine the presence of alcohol, marijuana, or a controlled substance in an employee’s blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance, then there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the accident and injury or death were caused by the consumption of alcohol or the ingestion of marijuana or a controlled substance.

(c) With the exception of the rebuttable presumptions set forth above, the burden of proof shall be generally upon the party who claims an exemption or forfeiture under this code section.

Under Georgia law, a workers’ compensation claim may be denied if the injured worker was intoxicated and the accident occurred as a result of the intoxication. Georgia law has a rebuttable presumption that where an injured worker tests positive for substance abuse following an injury that presumes the injury is related to substance abuse.

Georgia drug-free workplace program

Benefits of a Georgia Drug Free Workplace 

  • Georgia employees will become more aware of safety in the workplace and will benefit from a safer work environment – fewer accidents on the job
  • After a positive drug test, an employee who loses a job may not qualify for Georgia unemployment compensation benefits
  • When refusing a drug test an injured employee may forfeit eligibility for Georgia workers’ compensation benefits
  • When an employee tests positive on a post-accident drug test, the employee may not be entitled to Georgia workers’ compensation benefits
  • A decrease in absenteeism, turnover, mistakes at work, and theft in the Georgia workplace
  • Increase in productivity, competitiveness, and employee morale for Georgia employers
  • 7.5% credit to workers’ compensation insurance premium for Georgia employers

Requirements of a Georgia Drug Free Workplace

  • Comprehensive written drug-free workplace policy (must have all provisions of Georgia statute)
  • 60-day notice provided for initial testing of existing employees
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Provide a list of over-the-counter medications that can alter or affect drug test results
  • Provides an employee assistance program (EAP) or list of resources for an employee assistance program (EAP)
  • Include notice of the drug-free workplace (DFW) on vacancy announcements for open positions
  • Notice of substance abuse testing is posted in an appropriate and conspicuous location on the employer’s premises.
  • Educate employees about the program (2 hours required the first year, thereafter 1 hour)
  • Provide supervisor training – supervisors must complete the employee education program and 2 hours of supervisor training (1 hour after the first year)
  • Use of SAMHSA certified laboratory and confirmation testing on all non-negatives
  • Use of a certified medical review officer (MRO)
  • Implement testing: pre-employment, reasonable suspicion, post-rehabilitation, routine fitness for duty, and optional random testing
  • Complete and file the application for certification or annual recertification of the drug-free workplace premium credit program

National Drug Screening offers drug testing in Georgia with available testing methods:

  • Hair follicle drug testing
  •  Urine drug testing (DOT or non-DOT)
  •  Saliva (oral) drug testing
  •  Pre-employment drug screening testing
  •  Self-drug testing
  •  Teenager (school) drug testing
  •  Individual drug testing
  •  Drug-free workplace programs

If you need to order a drug test today, call National Drug Screening.

For drug testing in Georgia for individuals for immediate testing, call now: 866-843-4545 or Order Online

Marijuana Laws for Georgia

Marijuana considerations are important and marijuana laws often update often, check out Marijuana in the Workplace.

Drug Testing Laws for Georgia

No two states have same the same drug testing State Laws – Check out state laws for Drug Testing.

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