What Happens if You Fail a Military Drug Test?

Failing a military drug test may result in severe consequences for your military career. This could include termination, judicial or nonjudicial punishments, and many other administrative actions.

What is the drug test process in the military?

military drug test

When servicemembers are notified that they will need to complete an illegal drug test, they are allotted a small time period to prepare. The urine sample is given to trusted parties who then make sure it is transported to the laboratory without error. Once the lab has the urine sample, the urinalysis testing can begin. The urine sample is then tested through various processes such as chromatography and mass spectrometry. This process ensures the drug test results are almost certainly accurate. Once the testing procedure is complete, the test results are given to the commanding officer who requested them. At this point the commanding officer can decide if disciplinary action is necessary.

The results of a failed drug test, and what that means for your military career

If the results have come back testing positive, there are numerous courses of action the military can take, varying for each military branch. Some branches allow service members to ask for a second test to be completed within 90 days of the positive drug test results. If they were to test positive a second time, they would no longer be able to join any military branch. This second test is not an option for all, however. Active duty service members with a failed drug test are particularly at risk of serious consequences towards their military career. Regardless of the branch you are in, a failed military drug test will most likely mean disciplinary action of some level.

Reasoning behind the military policy surrounding drug usage

The military drug tests are exercised in this severity for a couple reasons. The biggest being that military members must demonstrate proper responsibility and a stable state of mind. A service member partaking in illicit substances could put other service members at risk, especially in dealing with high stress environments. The military performs their method of drug testing with hundreds of thousands of samples per day to address this possibility and protect their members. In accordance with military law, severe actions may be placed on any service member with a positive drug test. There are generally zero tolerance policies on illegal substance use, especially among those individual on active duty.

Is there recourse when you test positive on a military drug test?

If you are looking to fight a previous test or want more information on the policy surrounding drug usage for military members seek out free military defense counsel if it is an option for you. There is always a possibility that a positive drug test or failed drug test was performed incorrectly or mishandled. Some private law firms and practices offer free consultation that could be helpful to you!