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Protecting your military career after a failed urinalysis test

On Behalf of | Oct 31, 2022 | Military Law

Urinalysis or the chemical evaluation of a clean urine sample has become one of the go-to methods for drug policy enforcement utilized by the United States armed forces. It is non-invasive and relatively quick, as well as cost-effective when compared to more involved testing, like hair analysis. It is also more effective than hair testing for detecting certain drugs.

It only takes a few moments for a servicemember to complete a test. The workers collecting such samples often do not require medical licensing, which may be necessary for tests that involve drawing blood. They only need to observe someone’s behavior prior to and after the test. They will also do a visual inspection to check for signs of dilution and a temperature check to make sure someone didn’t bring a sample from another person.

Servicemembers may be subject to chemical testing at different points throughout their career, including after an injury while on duty or when facing disciplinary actions that may relate to substance  abuse. Those found to be in violation of military rules about substance use due to a failed drug test could face consequences including court-martial and dishonorable discharge. If you recently failed a urinalysis test, you can potentially fight back to protect your military career.

You can highlight concerning oversights

Chemical evidence is easily contaminated, and mistakes in record-keeping or in the laboratory processing of urine samples might lead to inaccurate or unreliable test results. If there are gaps in the chain of custody for the urine sample or questions about the accuracy of the specific test utilized, that could provide you with a basis for a defense.

You can provide an alternate explanation

Sometimes, the reason that you failed a drug screening is that you have a prescription from a medical doctor for a substance like a narcotic pain reliever. There are numerous medical and chemical explanations for a failed urinalysis test beyond simple drug abuse. There are also multiple issues that could affect the accuracy of urinalysis testing, ranging from vitamin C supplements to bacterial infections.

Evaluating the evidence against you and discussing your goals for your military career can help you plan a defense strategy when you fail a urinalysis test and worry about the impact that test will have on your future.