Drug testing laws have become a particular point of interest in recent months with increased celebrities’ bouts of trouble with the law bringing attention to the subject, But beyond the topic of shaved heads, DUIs, and rehab stints comes the question of legality. Are these tests legal and are they accurate? It might all depend on where you reside and what your circumstances are.
With more media attention than ever being drawn to ill-fated celebrities who have DUI mishaps and drug related issues, it might be interesting to know what all of the hype is concerning the drug testing laws. And yes, alcohol would fall under drug testing laws since in most states consent for a breath test must be given. What are drug testing laws, and how does a drug test work? Are drug tests reliable in detecting what they are supposed to detect? When are drug tests necessary?
Depending on the state, each one has its own version of what amount of alcohol can consider a person to be legally intoxicated, and of course personal variables like a person’s size can help make this even more difficult to determine. Drugs are something that are not so tangible: if they are in your system, you are intoxicated and in violation of the law. Drug tests of several different types can be used to determine your intoxication [or innocence] and then what happens from there is dependent upon the state.
For alcohol, most tests are administered via breath but a blood test is another possibility. For drugs, tests can be done that examine samples of blood, hair, urine, or skin. Depending upon what is being examined, such as hair, traces of drug residue may be present from months past. But what is the legality of these tests, and does one have to submit to taking one of them?
If it is a situation involving employment, operating a motor vehicle, or child custody, one can in most cases be legally forced to take a drug test. The grounds for this is that you are voluntarily seeking out a job, making a choice to operate a motor vehicle or other dangerous piece of equipment which could endanger the lives of others or yourself, or in the case of child custody, you are responsible for minor children and must prove to be fit to take care of them. These are all considered voluntary responsibilities and a drug test is proof that one is willing to undergo these obligations. Drug testing laws do have some loopholes, as do employment contracts, that may allow a person to legally escape having to take a drug test.
Under drug testing laws, an employer can have legal cause to fire or deny a promotion to someone who fails a drug test or refuses to submit to one, and a potential employer may refuse to hire someone who is not willing to submit to a drug test. Certain stipulations may be involved, such as operation of dangerous equipment, to make these laws valid, but the basic facts come down to an employer may ask for a drug test and though an employee or potential employee has the right to refuse, to do so means almost certain career death. You may not be guilty of anything, but you are certainly regarded as such if you refuse to submit to a test, though refusal is one’s right. It is controversial right now and will continue to be until more court cases set a precedent over what should be done.