The State of South Dakota has no laws which regulate private employment drug tests. Therefore, a private employer is allowed to conduct a drug test on any applicant or employee. Certain safety-sensitive positions of employment (e.g. law enforcement, transportation) may require an employer to perform a drug test on applicants. In these instances, the employer must advertise this information publicly before a test can be conducted. It is highly recommended that all employers establish a drug-testing policy and make it available for review by all applicants and employees.

Can Current Employees be Tested? Yes. If holding a safety-sensitive position of employment, the employer may only test the employee if there is reasonable suspicion of drug or alcohol abuse.

Is Certified Testing Required? Not defined.

Laws – No current laws.

What Can be Tested? No limitations.

How to Conduct a Legal Drug Test

Step 1 – While not required by law, it is recommended that the subject completes the Drug Test Authorization Form prior to being tested. The employer may then take a sample from the applicant. There are no regulations on what samples are prohibited or permitted. However, the following samples are typically tested at medical laboratories:

  • Blood
  • Breath
  • Hair
  • Saliva
  • Urine

Step 2 – The sample will need to be brought to a medical laboratory to be tested. Certified testing isn’t required, though for the most legitimate and accurate results, it is recommended that the sample be tested at one of the laboratories designated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association (SAMHSA).

Step 3 – An employer may terminate an employee if he/she tests positive for drugs or alcohol. Likewise, an applicant for employment may be excluded from consideration if tested positive. In either case, the employer must make certain that none of the individual’s rights were infringed upon and that no wrongdoing has occurred (e.g. invasion of privacy at the time of testing, only testing certain employees, not considering medications which might lead to a positive test).