Colorado State Drug Testing Laws

Workplace Drug Testing Issues – Colorado State Laws

These categories do not effect DOT-regulated drug testing. Government employers should always call for potential additional restrictions on employee drug testing.

Colorado has no general employment drug testing laws so generally there are no restrictions on employee drug testing. Follow best practices and a written drug free workplace policy is highly recommended.

Note: Boulder, CO – This city has one of the most restrictive drug testing laws in the country. Employers in Colorado are only bound by Boulder’s city ordinance for their employees who work in the city.  This chart does not apply to Boulder, CO. – please consult your attorney.

Drug Testing IssueStatusComments
Instant or POCT Testing No Restrictions
Drug PanelsNo Restrictions
LaboratoryNo RestrictionsHighly recommend - SAMHSA certified laboratory
Medical Review OfficerNo RestrictionsHighly recommended to avoid liability
Random TestingNo Restrictions
Post-Accident No RestrictionsBase decision to test after an accident on a reasonable decision that drug or alcohol use could have caused the accident, always have a written policy.
Reasonable SuspicionNo Restrictions
Oral Fluid TestingNo Restrictions
Hair Follicle TestingNo Restrictions
Unemployment DenialYesMust have a written policy, no unemployment compensation if employee is terminated for failing a drug test.
Workers Comp DiscountNo
Workers Comp DenialYes, availableA positive drug test after an accident can lead to a reduction in non-medical workers’ compensation benefits.
Intoxication DefenseYesEmployer to claim presumption of intoxication" and thus reduce all non-medical benefits by 50%, employer will need to prove that your test was conducted in a certified/licensed facility and that a second sample has been preserved for re-testing.
Medical MarijuanaYesThe law states nothing shall require any employer to accommodate the medical use of marijuana in the workplace. The Colorado Supreme Court has upheld and employee termination for testing positive even when the employee claimed medical marijuana.
Recreational MarijuanaYesAmendment 64 states: 'Nothing in this section is intended to require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale or growing of marijuana in the workplace or to affect the ability of employers to have policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees.
Report Driver DOT PositivesNo
General Statute--There are no statutes that restrict employers to conduct drug and alcohol testing.

Intoxication Defense – Denial of Workers Compensation Claim – Reduction of non-medical benefits in Colorado – §8-42-112.5.

This chart is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal guidance. State and local law varies greatly; therefore, you are advised to consult experienced legal counsel during the development or edit of your actual substance abuse testing program and with any questions that follow.

State Law Colorado

Drug Testing in Colorado

Testing locations are available in all areas. For immediate service for employers or individuals call 866-843-4545 or Order Now.

Marijuana Laws for Colorado

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