In the US, drug testing through court orders is not only routine but a necessity. There are several types of situations where individuals must adhere to drug testing to match the legal requirement. Such a problem occurs to make sure you are drug-free. Let’s take, for instance, a parole officer or probation officer may need drug testing if the court has doubts about them maintaining sobriety. However, when it comes to legal battles like child custody or fostering, the court might order the one appealing to undergo a drug test to safeguard the child’s future.

In divorce cases, the alleged one adheres to drug testing if one of the spouses alleges drug misuse. Under such circumstances, the center can demand a court drug test and make scheduled drug testing a part of the routine practice. Furthermore, there are cases where individuals who get convicted of a DWI or DUI must submit in front of court-ordered alcohol and drug testing. But, there are several variables around such a scenario. When your court orders an individual to adhere to random testing, it provides people with center options to select from, based on accessibility and location. Here, the court determines the length and frequency of time where you must undergo drug testing. This can either be one test every fifteen days for half a year or a test every week for the entire year. 


Some courts often randomize this practice and keep the random drug testing procedures under secrecy. When people enroll in a testing program, they get assigned to various groups. These centers tend to announce the groups that need to report for drug testing on the testing day. If you are from that particular group, you will have to report for the testing procedure. Failing to do so will allow the court to place a fine against you. Remember, every court’s action may vary with the change of jurisdiction. 

Types of Drug Tests Used by Courts

Some of the commonly used substances in the US is THC, which is responsible for producing mind-altering effects and is also the primary cannabinoid in marijuana. Other drugs comprise PCP, amphetamines (including ecstasy and methamphetamine), cocaine, and opiates (including morphine, codeine, and heroin). These usually make up for standard 5-panel tests for drugs, which government entities frequently utilize, such as DOT or Directly Observed Therapy. 



Moreover, if you think about what all drug tests do a court use except the 5-panel one? They can use a 7-panel test that also tests for benzodiazepines and barbiturates. In some special cases, courts can also use a 10-panel drug test, which happens to add barbiturates and benzodiazepines along with propoxyphene, methadone, and Quaaludes. Even though most centers and courts might stick to the standard panels, they can customize such tests in most cases. Depending on the situation’s specifics and status, a court can test for the specific drug, which is not a part of the standard panel.


In addition, some of the screenings can also look for morphine and codeine as opiates. If a court wants to acquire more insights or information, it can call for synthetic opiates, consisting of hydromorphone, hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxymorphone, and oxycodone.

Urine Screens

Urine Screens


When it comes to drug tests, eight in ten courts can ask for urine screenings. Detox facilities also use urine screens to make sure that individuals are staying away from harmful and addictive substances. A standard urine test panel searches for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamine, and alcohol. In exceptional cases, they can also look for nicotine levels.

Saliva-Based Drug Test

Such a testing method looks for quick results. Some testers may use a mouth swab to collect saliva or ask the individual to spit in a glass/cup. This test reveals marijuana, alcohol, amphetamine, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

Blood Test

Most of the courts worldwide call for blood tests as they are one of the most accurate ones. Since these are the most accurate tests, courts select a handful of centers and professionals to conduct the drug test. A blood test can detect an illegal substance up to twenty-four hours after consumption. Such tests can also detect THC’s presence weeks after use.

Hair Follicle Drug Test

Hair Follicle Drug Test


Hair follicle drug testing is easy to obtain and noninvasive. This specific test’s downside is that it fails to show recent use but exhibits historical drug use up to ninety-days ago. If the subject has long hair, the test can take an extended amount of time.

Final Thoughts

A court can conduct drug testing regularly or randomly. Typically, probationary drug testing is planned haphazardly to ensure that the subject does not prepare for the test by flushing their systems or planning specimen adulteration. Since there are several types of cases and situations, a court can drift away from its traditional procedure and call for a randomized one.