For Cause Drug and Alcohol Testing

  • Test where there is reasonable suspicion of drug/alcohol misuse or post incident
  • Fastest lab confirmations – next working day if required
  • Nationwide sample collection network and sample collection training
  • Rapid response on-site screening
  • Test and confirm a wide range of drugs and their metabolites
  • Maintain a safe working environment
  • Essential for safety critical industries
  • Bespoke testing solutions to meet your requirements

What is for cause drug and alcohol testing?

For cause drug and alcohol testing – also known as ‘with cause’ or ‘reasonable suspicion’ drug and alcohol testing – is used where there are grounds to suspect someone of misusing drugs or alcohol in the workplace.

This type of drug and alcohol testing can also include testing post incident, where an employer has grounds to suspect or wants to rule out the use of drugs or alcohol as a contributing factor in a workplace incident/accident.

Suspicious behaviours that could indicate substance misuse at work include:

  • Absenteeism
  • Lack of concentration
  • Poor decision making
  • Reduced productivity
  • Increased conflict with colleagues
  • Unkempt appearance

Get a quote online now or contact our Workplace team today on 0333 600 1300 (select option 2) or email to discuss your bespoke testing package

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Around 25% of employees say that drugs or alcohol have affected them at work (CIPD)

Is for cause drug and alcohol testing legal?

It is completely legal to test employees for drugs and alcohol if you have reasonable grounds to suspect that they may have been misusing these substances at work.

However, before implementing drug and alcohol testing for cause, you must ensure that your business has a robust substance misuse policy in place.  

A drug and alcohol policy is a formal corporate document that:

  • Defines the company’s stance on drugs and alcohol
  • Ensures employees are kept informed on testing methods
  • Outlines the frequency and grounds for testing
  • Makes it clear how substance misuse issues will be handled

Having a substance misuse policy, along with back-to-lab confirmation of any non-negative test results, helps ensure that your testing is legally compliant, should an employee decide to dispute the results of the test for any reason.

Our Workplace team can help you create a drug and alcohol policy to suit the needs of your business or review an existing policy to ensure it is legally sound.

Contact us today for support with Drug & Alcohol Testing Policies.

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Testing methods

We understand the importance of rapid testing, especially when there is reasonable suspicion of drug and/or alcohol misuse, or following a workplace accident, where time is critical.

That’s why each of our for cause testing methods has been selected to deliver on-the-spot results when you need them.

We offer a variety of testing methods and solutions to suit all budgets, including Home Office approved-type testing devices from leading brands.

We also understand that a non-negative result for drugs and alcohol can bring unwanted disruption and costs: that’s why we have developed a rapid testing service to provide laboratory confirmation results the next working day, if required.

The table below outlines the recommended for cause drug and alcohol testing methods, along with their detection windows – the period during which substances remain detectable by a drug or alcohol test.

Type of test Tests for Detection window
Breath Alcohol Here and now / immediate results
Oral fluid Drugs Up to 48 hours
Urine Drugs Up to 4 days
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For cause testing where there is reasonable suspicion of drug or alcohol misuse

When to perform drug and alcohol testing for cause

Employers are legally obliged to take measures to protect the safety of employees and the public if they suspect individuals may be unfit to work due to drug or alcohol misuse (Misuse of Drugs Act 1971).

You may want to carry out for cause drug and alcohol testing, also known as ‘with cause’ or ‘reasonable suspicion’ testing, if:

  • You have grounds to suspect an employee has been misusing drugs and/or alcohol at work
  • An allegation has been made about drug/alcohol misuse
  • Drugs or alcohol have been found in the workplace
  • There has been an accident in the workplace, and you want to confirm or rule out drug/alcohol misuse as a contributing factor

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), an employer is legally required to act if they suspect that an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

This is to ensure the safety of all employees, including the individual involved, and the public.

When introducing a substance misuse policy, we recommend management and employee awareness training, to embed your policy in company culture, and educate staff on the risks associated with workplace alcohol and drug misuse.

Learn more about Drug & Alcohol Awareness Training

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Sample collection options

Our drug and alcohol testing has been designed to run as smoothly as possible, from sample collection to the analysis of samples at our laboratory, and the rapid delivery of results.

We have a nationwide network of professional clinicians, who are fully qualified to collect samples 24/7, 365 days of the year.*

We also follow strict chain of custody procedures for sample collections, to ensure our drug and alcohol testing is legally defensible should an employee dispute the results for any reason.

Choose to book your sample collection with us:

  • at a location of your choice, with one of our expertly-trained sample collectors
  • at one of our nationwide walk-in centres

We also understand that some companies may prefer to collect their own samples in-house rather than use an external sample collector.

We have therefore designed our sample collection training specifically for this purpose, so you can be confident that your staff are fully equipped to collect a variety of samples for drug and alcohol testing.

This is especially useful when testing for cause and post incident, as it allows for immediate sample collection where breathalysers, oral fluid devices and urine only provide a narrow window of detection.

Choose from in-person training, or online training followed by an in-person, practical assessment.

For more information on our sample collection training, call our Workplace team on 0333 600 1300 or email

*Subject to contract.

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Get in touch with one of our workplace testing experts today for a no obligation quote

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★ ★ ★ ★ ★

We contacted AlphaBiolabs because we were looking to formalise our workplace drug and alcohol testing policy and procedures, and we have found them to be professional, efficient and reliable from the outset. Not only did they support us in creating a robust substance misuse policy, but they also provided excellent in-depth training, meaning we can now confidently conduct our own drug and alcohol testing on-site. I’d be happy to recommend AlphaBiolabs’ services to others.

HR Manager
Swizzels Matlow

Happy to recommend them

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

We looked at lots of suppliers, but AlphaBiolabs’ customer-focused approach is what really appealed to us. They have been a great partner to work with; their knowledge of testing protocols is second to none, as is the common-sense approach of their sample collectors. They were also forthcoming with best practice guidance on which testing solutions would best suit our needs. We would be happy to recommend them to other organisations.

Head of People
Specialist Aviation Services Ltd

The best

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent service with a fast response.

I have used others, but AlphaBiolabs are the best.

Safety Officer
Rail Track

Very impressed

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I am very impressed with the exceptional speed of service.

HR Manager
ABC Construction