How to pass drug testing… After you’ve failed!

While you can contest a drug testing charge, there is still no way to pass drug testing… Apart from abstinence. Credit Chuck Grimmett

We have said before in our blogs that there are really only two ways to pass drug testing. They are not to take drugs in the first place or, if you do take drugs, make sure you allow plenty of time before you drive a car or go to work.

However, there is a potential way to get off drug testing, but before we explain, it’s fair to say that that method is not for the faint-hearted and is bound to fail in many cases.

Contesting a drug testing result

The method is simply to contest your drug testing result. Whether you have failed drug testing on the roads or in a workplace, it is everyone’s right in Australia to contest the findings. In the case of roadside drug testing, this is normally through a court process. In the workplace, this can be through mediation or a more formal process such as the Fair Work Commission.

Here are just a few examples of cases that have been brought before the Fair Work Commission:

  • In 2015, in a case before the Fair Work Commission, the FWC were asked to judge the termination of an employee at Sydney Airport who had tested positive for cannabis. The FWC found that given the employee’s “safety critical work”, the employer’s policies and the positive drug test, the termination was lawful and therefore dismissed the employee’s case for wrongful termination.
  • In Tasmania, a worker brought a claim of unfair dismissal to the Fair Work Commission, but his case was dismissed. The worker admitting smoking cannabis, but said he would never had gone to work if he thought he was not fit and safe to do so. Indeed, he had used a home urine drug testing kit from a chemist to check. The Fair Work Commissioner said the employee should never have relied on the home drug testing kit.
  • In a case in NSW, a ferry master misjudged an approach to a wharf and crashed his ferry into a pylon. As part of the company’s policy, he underwent drug testing which showed a positive reading for cannabis usage. The employee admitted to the Fair Work Commission that he had smoked marijuana on the previous evening to assist him with shoulder pain and only came to work on that day, when he had previously been rostered off duty, to replace another employee. Eventually, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission dismissed the employee’s appeal. The matter was then taken to the Full Court of the Federal Court, where the appeal was also quashed.

There are no doubt similar examples on roadsides, where people have taken their cases to court and have failed. Generally, any wins are due to cases where correct procedures hasn’t been followed or the correct procedures do not exist. For example, in a recent case before the Fair Work Commission, a Sydney Trains worker was reinstated to his job after the commission found the application of a zero tolerance policy was applied harshly.

Can you pass drug testing even if you’ve had drugs?

While the above highlights that there is a potential out for anyone who fails drug testing, it is fair to say that our claim that abstinence is the only way to pass drug testing still holds true. While it is within everyone’s rights in Australia to contest a drug testing result, it’s more of an out than a way to pass and, as we’ve seen, not many contests will be successful.

So, if you do want to pass drug testing after consuming drugs, by all means search for ways on the Internet. Try the modern day versions of snake oil, such as mouthwashes and other potions, if you like, but don’t be surprised when these fail!


While you can contest a drug testing charge, there is still no way to pass drug testing… Apart from abstinence. Credit Chuck Grimmett

By Michael

Michael is the founder of Integrity Sampling and is responsible for overseeing all national operations. He is based at Integrity Sampling's head office in Melbourne and is also responsible for the co-ordination of drug and alcohol testing within Victoria, assisting in the implementation of drug and alcohol (fit for work) policies and the presentation of drug and alcohol education and awareness programs. You can connect with Michael Wheeldon on LinkedIn

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