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What Happens If You Fail a Drug Test?

What Happens if You Fail a Drug Test?

Drug tests have become a common occurrence in our modern world. You may be subjected to them during a pre-employment application, a probation check, or throughout your career with a company. If you’re an athlete, you may have to ensure a governing organization that you’re not taking any performance-enhancing drugs.

Being part of a federal or state government agency can require you to perform a mandatory drug test.

While the majority of the thousands of drug tests performed throughout America will come back clean, there will always be instances of failed drug test examinations.

Today, we’ll discuss what happens if you fail a drug test. A failed drug test can have a variety of consequences, and you may not be aware of.

Can I Get Hired if I Failed a Drug Test?

If you’re wondering, “what happens if I fail a drug test” for pre-employment screening, the reality is that you’re most likely not going to get the job. For a company to invest resources into lab drug testing means that they’re unlikely to overlook the results.

However, depending on several factors, you may still be able to attain the position. If your skillset is in high demand and there aren’t many people that can fill the role, you may have a better chance at securing the job, even if you’ve failed the screening.

Will I fail my drug test by being around second-hand marijuana smoke?

You can have failed a test even if you're confident you should have passed. This may lead you to search “how to fail a drug test even if you haven’t taken any illegal drugs.” You might have produced a false positive on a test due to second-hand smoke if you were in the same room as someone else smoking marijuana. 

If this is the case, you may try to contact the company and explain the situation to retake the test in a few days. The majority of companies will most likely decline, but you won’t be certain unless you ask.

Does a Failed Drug Test Remain on Your Employee Record?

Some companies, government agencies, and the military will require mandatory drug tests. While your employer must obtain your consent for any screening for controlled substances, you’ve probably already given it during the new hire onboarding process. 

Most companies will require you to sign a drug and alcohol or substance abuse policy when you’re getting settled into the office. The policy will have a clause that states you give your consent to a random screening at the company’s discretion. This is usually the case for employees that have work that can be impacted by drug use, or if an accident happened on company property.

What happens if you fail a drug test for work?

The substance abuse policy will have guidelines as to what the possible consequences may hold. Depending on the company, they may have a zero-tolerance policy, indicating that after the first failed result, you will be terminated. Other companies may be located in a state that requires the employee to undergo a substance abuse program before they can be fired. 

What are the consequences of failing a drug test in the military?

The US military wants to be certain that they have the best fighting force in the world, and every branch has implemented a strict drug testing policy. Urine testing is the military standard for screening controlled substances in its members. Over the course of a month, the US military will test around 60,000 samples.

All branches of the military hold a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drug use. If a serviceman is tested as positive, then they can expect expedient and stringent disciplinary action. The sentence can vary depending on the rank, branch, and type of drug used. Officers can assume a court-martial. Enlisted members can expect a nonjudicial punishment pursuant to Article 15 and an administrative discharge. Under Article 15, the commander can decide on the serviceman’s guilt and level of discipline.

Will I Get in Legal Trouble if I Fail a Company Drug Test?

If you fail a drug test what happens to your legal record?

If you’ve failed a pre-employment drug screening, it stays within the company. The sample and results you’ve submitted will not be sent to any law enforcement agency. 

If you’ve failed a test during parole, the punishment can vary wildly. Your parole officer may only issue a warning if this is your first offense and your actions harmed no one. However, if the positive result includes additional crimes, such as trafficking or distributing, then you can expect to end up back in prison.

What happens if you fail a drug test as a federal employee?

Since the Reagan administration, the US government has had a zero-tolerance policy towards drug use. However, you can’t be immediately terminated by the government for most offenses. The most common course is for an executive agency to determine an appropriate outcome, with many requiring some form of counseling or treatment. Many punishments will also come with the addendum that this is the last chance. Any recidivation will result in automatic-removal.

Which is Worse: Failing a Drug Test or Refusing?

If you’re going through a pre-employment screening and you know that you’re going to fail, you have two choices. Choice one, take the test and fail, subsequently not getting the job. Choice two, refuse to take the test, and not be offered the job. 

If you know that a drug test will come back positive, refusing to take it can save both you and the potential employer time. 

What if I Live in a Legal State?

Many states have legalized marijuana, some have decriminalized it, and a few still maintain the DEA’s federal stance that it’s a Schedule I drug. However, just because marijuana is legal where you live doesn’t mean that the company will waive its policy on drug use.  

Some companies test for harder drugs and allow recreational marijuana use, however, these companies are not common.

If you’re concerned about what happens if you fail a drug test, then contact Countrywide Testing. We have a host of resources and self-administered tests to make sure that you can pass a pre-employment screening with flying colors.