Random Drug Tests Not Uncommon

Randy Perreira
Randy Perreira

HONOLULU (KHNL) - While random drug testing concerns many teachers, these tests aren't uncommon.

Several public workers unions across the state require employees to take random drug tests.

The Hawaii Government Employees Association is one of them. More than 26,000 city and state workers belong to that union.

"It seemed like a right thing to do," said Randy Perreira, deputy executive director.

People who are responsible for public safety, like lifeguards, sheriffs and investigators, are randomly tested.

Their employers decide when to test them, but it's usually done once a year.

"Some of our employee group has come forward to ensure that thy weren't going to be caught working with anyone who's impaired," said Perreira.

Few workers represented by HGEA have tested positive. But if someone does, they're tested again. They can receive treatment if they have a drug problem.

"And part of the agreement is, if caught somebody is treated as if having an illness," said Perreira.

Union reps say the ultimate goal is to help that workers return to work and a drug-free life.