Last Updated on 2023-07-16

DoorDash Doesn’t Drug Test - But Don’t Get Caught

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

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Davis Porter

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers

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Christian Lombardi

Two years of experience working across DoorDash and Uber Eats

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Ricardo Cervantes

5 years of experience working across DoorDash and Postmates

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Michael Vaness

6 years of experience working across DoorDash, Instacart, and Spark

DoorDash, one of the leading food delivery services in the US and Canada, does not drug test its job applicants, independent service providers, warehouse associates, or even corporate employees. 

Instead, DoorDash conducts a background check on your driving records and criminal history. Your application could potentially be disqualified if DoorDash discovers any past drug-related charges or DUIs.

If you start working as a driver for DoorDash, the company will still keep an eye out for any drug-related red flags that may develop on your record over time. Dashers have their backgrounds checked once every year. 

While you’ll have the freedom to work on your own terms, you’ll also be expected to uphold the company's commitment to maintaining a drug-free work environment. 

Why DoorDash doesn’t drug test 

DoorDash avoids drug testing because of the following reasons:

1. Dashers are not employees

As an independent contractor, you don't work directly for the company. You, instead, work with the company.

This type of relationship frees DoorDash of the obligations and implications that come with the conventional employer-employee dynamic. You’ll be operating as an autonomous entity, wholly accountable for all the damages that arise from your drug-related mistakes. 

And if the company ever wants to cut ties with you, all it has to do is deactivate your account. 

2. Drug tests don’t come cheap

If DoorDash were to implement mandatory drug testing for all its service provider applicants, the cumulative expenses would be astronomical. 

Its vast network of Dashers stretches beyond 2 million, representing a 57% share of the US food delivery services market. This implies that the company has processed tens of millions of gig worker applications to date.

In a typical lab, a 10-drug urine test for each of those applicants would cost about $50, while an alcohol test added to the mix would bump up the bill to $80 or thereabout. So, in total, DoorDash would have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars just to meet the most basic standards for drug testing.

By choosing not to administer drug tests, DoorDash avoids dealing with a wide range of legal pitfalls across various jurisdictions.

In the US, the laws governing drug testing vary significantly from state to state. Some, like Connecticut, prohibit random drug tests on workers. Employers must meet special legal requirements to proceed, and the tests can only be administered on workers who show signs of being under the influence of drugs. 

This is what DoorDash does instead

In place of drug tests, DoorDash has set up a rigorous screening process that ensures every Dasher is trustworthy, reliable, and capable of providing high-quality services.

The scrutiny begins at the initial application stage, where you’re required to submit the following:

  • A valid driver's license or state-issued ID card. 
  • A phone number. 
  • An email address.

Using this info, DoorDash then conducts a thorough background check via a third-party company called Checkr. 

Checkr's role is to access databases across all 50 states, analyze billions of public records, and compile detailed reports about your past 

These measures are meant to ensure customer safety and promote responsible driving practices amongst Dashers.

What the DoorDash background check looks out for

To maintain workplace safety and uphold high customer service standards, DoorDash’s background checks evaluate the character of drivers based on their:

  • Criminal Records: Checkr digs into seven years worth of data saved in court files, plus national and county criminal databases. From these sources, it generates information on felonies that you committed over the past seven years.

You could get disqualified for having any drug-related charges on your record. Others that may spoil your chances include violent crimes, sexual offenses, theft, and property damage. 

  • Driving Records: For people applying to be drivers, DoorDash retrieves motor vehicle reports from the DMV database to confirm their driving history. 

The MVR reveals moving violations that you committed in the previous three years. We’re talking about reckless driving, speeding, hit and run, driving without insurance, etc. 

For DUI charges, though, the documentation here goes back seven years. Michael Vaness, a Ohio-based gig worker who often juggles between DoorDash and Instacart, further warns that gig platforms might exchange information (either directly or via an intermediary like Checkr) on any new DUI records they discover of multi-app gig workers. 

Can you drive for DoorDash with a DUI record?

Yes. While a DUI record can complicate your application to become a Dasher, it doesn't necessarily disqualify you. DoorDash scrutinizes applications on a case-by-case basis — taking into account the DUI circumstances, the length of time since the charges, and any subsequent records of rehabilitation.

If they end up accepting your application, you'll need to maintain a clean record going forward. DoorDash's background check is continuous – usually on a yearly basis – and any new DUI records could lead to deactivation.

It’s possible that DoorDash may even proceed with the annual checks without notifying you. So, as a Dasher, make sure you’re always prepared for impromptu background checks.  

What to do if you have a DUI record

If you have a DUI on your records, there are steps you can take to potentially improve the chances of being accepted by DoorDash:

1. Apply as a biker instead

DoorDash's screening process for bikers doesn't review the motor vehicle records that capture DUIs. This could help you cover up a recent DUI case – but only if it doesn’t alternatively surface in the criminal background stage, which is compulsory even for bikers. 

2. Draft a letter of explanation

Upon rejection, DoorDash will send you a letter stating their reasons, as well as steps you can take to contest the decision.

You should respond with a well-thought-out letter of explanation, clarifying the circumstances surrounding the DUI incident, the lessons you've learned, and the steps you've taken towards rehabilitation. 

Remember to additionally highlight any positive contributions you've made since the incident – such as community service or volunteer work.

You could still get caught after passing the initial background check

Once you’ve sailed through the initial background check without taking any DoorDash drug test, the company proceeds to follow up with yearly background checks. This is how it audits active drivers to identify any new violations that may compromise the company’s service standards. 

The checks are similar to the initial screening process. And if DoorDash ever uncovers new records of drug-related offenses or DUI, they could take action and deactivate you from their platform

Drug tests by law enforcement

Roadside drug tests, conducted by law enforcement officers, can detect the presence of illegal substances. The results are then documented in your MVR, where they might ultimately get discovered during DoorDash’s continuous background checks.

At the most basic level, police officers use Field Sobriety Tests to check for possible DUI. This is a battery of three tests developed by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to detect driver impairment. 

If you fail any of them, the police might subject you to a more scientific drug testing method. This is when a breathalyzer is brought in to confirm the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) from your breath. 

Otherwise, to detect hard drugs, law enforcement is now adopting even more advanced testing gadgets. For instance, the Dräger 5000 can analyze saliva samples obtained through a mouth swab and then give a "positive" or "negative" result for the following seven categories of drugs:

  • Cocaine
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Amphetamines
  • Marijuana
  • Opioids
  • Methadone
  • Methamphetamines

Customer complaints

Customers have the power to share their experiences directly with DoorDash through the app. 

So, if they ever suspect a Dasher is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they could send in a report to the quality assurance team. The company will then take it from there and investigate the matter to ascertain the service provider’s conduct. 

Although it is unlikely that DoorDash would require a drug test on you as a result of a customer complaint, Michael warns: “DoorDash will most likely take the customer’s word for it and deactivate your account – especially if the complaints come from multiple customers.”

I want to work for DoorDash, but not as a driver

The DoorDash drug test policy is universal. It applies not just to drivers, but also to other contracted dashers and even employees. So, whatever position you’ll be applying for, the company won’t test you for drugs.

Does DashMart drug test workers?

DashMart does not typically require drug tests as part of its hiring process for merchants, workers, or delivery drivers.

It’s worth noting, however, that the company has a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy, as outlined in its independent contractor agreement. If your customers report otherwise, DoorDash may choose to sever all ties with you. 

DashMart also strives to maintain a smoke-free workplace. That means you won’t be allowed to smoke regular cigarettes or vapes while working. 

Does DoorDash drug test warehouse associates?

Not even Warehouse Associate applicants are required to test for drugs. 

At most, DoorDash will conduct a background check to confirm your identity and credentials, as well as ascertain any criminal history.

Does DoorDash drug test corporate employees?

There are no DoorDash drug tests when you’re applying to join its corporate team. 

Nonetheless, the company's zero-tolerance drug policy suggests it can administer tests under certain circumstances.

Employees here are barred from consuming, possessing, or distributing alcohol and illicit drugs in their workplace. 

Ready to start Dashing?

With no drug test in your way, sign up to get started working as a Dasher (pending Dasher approval and local availability). 

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