DOT Solicits Comments on Urine Test Standards

The U.S. Department of Transportation is accepting comments on an interim rule designed to protect industry employees who naturally produce highly dilute urine specimens in drug tests.

Current DOT rules are copied from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ program documents. Officials regard a urine specimen with 5 milligrams of creatinine per deciliter of urine or less as “substituted” because medical literature had indicated that people cannot produce urine with creatinine any lower.

Department officials regard a substituted test as a refusal to take a drug test, which the DOT considers a violation of rules equivalent to failing a drug test.
The DOT has encountered a small number of cases involving people with real medical or physiological explanations for producing specimens with creatinine lower than 5 milligrams per deciliter.

Transportation employees who provide dilute specimens in the 2-to-5 milligrams of creatinine per deciliter range must undergo an unannounced, immediate re-collection under direct supervision.

Persons wishing to comment must do so by Aug. 26. Comments should refer to Docket No. OST-2003-15245. Comments may be sent to the Docket Management System, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, D.C., 20590-0001 or electronically to