Can You Refuse a Random Drug Test at Work and is Alcohol Testing Allowed?

Drug and alcohol testing in the workplace can sometimes be challenging and discouraging for employers to handle. It is essential to keep in mind that it is crucial to maintain a balance between the workers’ rights with the health and safety of the personnel and the public. There are rules to follow relating to drug and alcohol testing in the workplace, and there are possible repercussions for someone failing a test. As an employer, you must implement a drug and alcohol policy and know the importance of having one in the workplace; including refusing a random drug test at work.  

Can you refuse a drug or alcohol test? 

Can you refuse a random drug test at work? An employee cannot be forced to provide a sample for a drug test. Drug and alcohol testing in the workplace is not enforceable by law; which means that you can refuse to be tested as an employee. Although if a drug and alcohol policy is implemented and you still refuse to undergo the test, you may find yourself taking disciplinary action; including being dismissed from the workplace if appropriate.  

As an employer and you have reasonable cause to believe an employee is under the influence of drugs and alcohol, you may consider taking action against them. Examples of when you should consider doing a drug and alcohol test on your employees:   

  • there has been an evident decline in their work performance  
  • an increase in workplace accidents  

As an employee who has not previously agreed to do random drug testing, can you refuse a random drug test at work again? Any unjustified punishment or efforts to force drug and alcohol testing upon employees could result in that worker resigning and claiming constructive dismissal.  

So, can you refuse a random drug test at work? The answer is yes, and it is also possible that you may be fired for that refusal. An employer only needs to prove that they have reasonable justification for believing an individual was a safety hazard or unable to perform their duty due to drug and alcohol abuse. The employer’s written drug and alcohol policy is crucial.  


If you require a reliable and accurate alcohol breath testing device, BACtrack provides you with various options. BACtrack workplace breathalyzer units have police-grade accuracy. The sturdy S80 Pro Gen2 is ideal for the workplace. Multiple jobs may require a zero-alcohol limit for their employees using heavy machinery. 


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