Drug/Alcohol Testing

If there is immediate danger involving drugs or alcohol in the workplace, please contact the NMSU Police Department first by calling 911, then Employee & Labor Relations at (575) 646-2449 / elr@nmsu.edu.

NMSU is a Drug-Free Campus

Notices: Annual Drug-Free Workplace Announcement  |  Drugs and Symptoms Abuse Info Sheet

NMSU conducts drug and alcohol testing in accordance with federal regulations as determined by the Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Below is a summary description of testing requirements. It is not an all inclusive resource of testing procedures. Please contact Employee & Labor Relations for detailed information in dealing with drugs and alcohol in the workplace.

Drug & Alcohol Testing Types

Pre-Employment Testing

  • Type: Drug
  • Conditions: Specific to safety-sensitive positions as required by federal regulations [Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Defense (DOD)]. Testing applies to individuals new to NMSU or employees who are transferring into a safety-sensitive position.

 Random Drug and Alcohol Testing:

  • Type: Drug and/or Alcohol
  • Conditions: Specific to safety-sensitive positions as required by federal regulations [Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Defense (DOD)].
  • Frequency: NMSU has established schedules in accordance with DOT and DOD regulations. Details on testing frequencies are provided to employees in these safety sensitive positions. Supervisors of safety-sensitive employees are made aware of the testing frequency during their training sessions.

Reasonable Suspicion Testing

  • Type: Drug and/or Alcohol
  • Conditions: A trained supervisor shall make a reasonable suspicion determination based upon specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations concerning an employee’s appearance, behavior, speech, and/or body odors.
  • Who to contact? If a covered employee (one working in a safety sensitive position) is suspected to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on the job, please contact Employee and Management Services immediately. A staff member will assist in coordinating a visit with the drug testing vendor under contract with NMSU.

Post Accident Testing

  • Type: Drug and Alcohol
  • Conditions: Testing for drugs and alcohol must be done as soon as practicable after an accident in which the driver was operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) if: there is a fatality involved (person tested is surviving driver); or the driver is cited for a moving violation AND either the vehicle is towed from the scene; or someone is medically evacuated from the scene.

Return-to-duty Testing

  • Type: Drug or Alcohol (Type will be for the type of test that was initially failed.)
  • Conditions: Testing will be conducted after a treatment program has been prescribed by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and when the SAP has determined the employee is eligible to test to return to duty.

Follow-up Testing

  • Type: Drug or Alcohol (Type will be for the type of test that was initially failed.)
  • Conditions: Testing will be conducted randomly as part of a return-to-duty program.

Refusal to Test

Department of Defense Contract Employees: A refusal to test or failure to comply with laboratory testing procedures will be treated as a positive test and will result in the immediate removal of the employee from the contract that stipulate the requirements of the DFAR.

Department of Transportation Requiring Employees: A refusal to test or failure to comply with laboratory testing procedures will be treated as a positive test. The employee is to be removed from duty with NMSU and placed on Administrative Leave until the test results are known and the situation can be evaluated.

 Disciplinary Action

Department of Defense Contract Employees: A single positive drug test for illegal or controlled substances will warrant disciplinary action of a written reprimand at minimum and may escalate up to and including termination depending on the incident/accident and any previous disciplinary history.

A second positive drug test is grounds for termination. Employees terminated for just cause may be ineligible for rehire by any NMSU entity.  In addition, employees must be removed from the working on the applicable DOD contract. Removal from a contract due to a positive drug test (1st or 2nd offense) may result in termination of employment if other suitable contract work is not available (i.e. they are not currently working partially on a non-DOD contract). If the employee currently has security clearance or has had it in the past while working for NMSU, the PSL Security Clearance Office Manager will notify the DOD’s Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office (DISCO). DISCO’s recommendation of action will be followed with regard to security clearance allowance.

Department of Transportation Requiring Employees: A positive drug or alcohol test will warrant disciplinary action of at least a written reprimand and may escalate up to and including termination depending on the incident/accident and any previous disciplinary history.

A second positive drug or alcohol test is grounds for termination. Approval for termination must be requested and authorized by HRS to comply with NMSU Policy 8.30 Disciplinary Action/Involuntary Termination. Employees terminated for just cause may be ineligible for rehire by any NMSU entity.

Disciplinary Sanctions

NMSU Policy 3.40 Drug-Free Workplace

Employees who violate the university’s alcohol or drug policies are subject to termination, demotion, or suspension. Additionally, employees may be required to report to the Employee Assistance Program for a clinical assessment and participate in a recommended counseling/rehabilitation program. When returned to work, the employee must comply with all university policies and maintain acceptable job performance or be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Drug and Alcohol Testing Disclosure of Information

It should be noted that employers and their service agents for DOT testing programs are not required to obtain written employee authorization to disclose drug and alcohol testing information where disclosing the information is required under 49 CFR Part 40 and other DOT Agency & U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) drug and alcohol testing regulations. 49 CFR Part 40 and DOT Agency & USCG regulations provide for confidentiality of individual test-related information in a variety of other circumstances.

Even if drug and alcohol testing information is viewed as protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) rules, it is not necessary to obtain employee written authorization where DOT requires the use or disclosure of otherwise protected health information under 49 CFR Part 40 or the other DOT Agency & USCG drug and alcohol testing regulations.

Read more by the Department of Transportation