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TestNotice - What To Expect From Court Ordered Drug Testing


Posted on April 12th, 2015


So you got in a bind with Johnny Law, and your sentence requires mandatory random drug testing. Now what?

Random drug testing can seem overwhelming and stressful. The court will allow you to select a drug testing center, and you will be told how frequently and for what duration of time you must endure this hassle. For example, you might have 1 drug test a week for 6 months, but you don't know which day it will be. It is entirely up to the court system how often your testing will be, but be prepared for it. Chances are you will at least need to submit to testing from your first appearance in court until you are actually sentenced.

Testing Centers

Once you have been ordered to do random testing, the Courts will likely provide you with a list of a few testing centers you can use. There aren't a lot of differences between testing centers, but it might be worthwhile to do research in advance to see what other patrons of those centers have written about their experience.

Reporting for Testing

The first time you report for testing, you will need to bring your court paperwork with you to the testing center to enroll. Be prepared to pay for your testing every time you are required to test, and be aware many testing centers are cash-only. Once you are enrolled you'll be assigned to a group (called a "color" or "identifier" by many centers). The idea is simple: Every day the testing center will announce a set of groups that need to come in for testing, and if your group is called you are required to show up. Failing to attend a random drug test has serious consequences.

Keep in mind, the drug testing center won't tell you when a week starts and ends. You might think a week is considered Sunday through Saturday, but in fact the testing center could schedule their weeks as Thursday through Wednesday. This means you could have 1 test at the end of their week (Wednesday) and another test in the beginning of the following week (Friday) and appear to have tested twice in a single week when you were originally scheduled to only test once per week. Drug testing centers do this to ensure that you never know when your testing date will be in a given week. This requires you to do 2 things: first, you must be sober and drug-free everyday. If you test positive for alcohol or any drugs, you might jeopardize your probation terms and be sentenced to a harsher penalty. Second, you must call in to the drug testing center every day, first thing in the morning. If you're fortunate the testing center might have a website you can also visit to check the day's required testing groups. This can be a huge inconvenience since you must be at the drug testing center during a specific time window when it is your random day, and there is no way to prove if you did or did not call in. This can leave you vulnerable, and it doesn't have to be this way. TestNotice can help with that problem by texting or calling you when your group has been announced for random testing. For $5 a month, you can sign up with TestNotice and receive text message notifications directly to your cell phone everyday at a time you select, alerting you to your testing requirement. Additionally, TestNotice keeps historical records of each date your identifier is posted for random testing, so you don't have to worry about having data if you need to go back to court.

Keeping accurate records of your experiences during this process is critical to protecting yourself in case something goes wrong.

Here are a few tips of things you can do to help yourself:

  1. Document if there is a problem calling the test center for the identifier daily announcement. Send an e-mail to your probation officer immediately or write a letter to the courts, and note the date and time you called, and what the issue was. This way there will be a paper trail to can fall back on if necessary.

  2. Use a third party service to validate your records. TestNotice provides a complete historical record of all groups that were called and the days they were called on.

  3. Don't wait. Time is not on your side in a bad situation with the courts. If something is wrong, don't wait until the courts figure it out and address it. If you miss a test because the recording system didn't work when you called, you need to be proactive and speak up or else it could come back to haunt you.

Mandatory random drug testing is a huge inconvenience, and TestNotice can make it a little less stressful by providing you with peace of mind and the security of your historical data records.



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Our Blog is a service to the community and is an incredibly valuable resource for fact-based information on drug and alcohol testing, as well as what's new with TestNotice. Check back often for updates and the latest information!

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