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Truck Driver Qualification Experts:
Commercial Driver Drug Testing
Continues at 50%

Truck Regulations Expert Witness / Truck Standard of Care Expert Witness Articles

By Scott Greene

On December 21, 2014, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced it would continue to require random Bus and Truck Driver drug testing at the 50% minimum. The FMCSA based its decision on data it received from surveys conducted in 2012.

fmcsalogoTruck Regulations Expert Witness

According to the FMCSA, 2012 data indicated:

  • Positive test rates following an initial positive result increased by 4.1 percent from 2011 to 2012
  • Reasonable suspicion positive test rates continued to rise sharply from 5.6 percent in 2010, to 15.7 percent in 2011 and 37.2 percent in 2012, marking a five-fold increase over the 3-year period
  • The rate of total positive drug test results reported to DOT from independent Health and Human Services-certified laboratories increased from 95,427 positives in 2011 to 97,332 positives in 2012. FMCSA-regulated industries comprise approximately 80 percent of the reported tests
  • Serious controlled substance and alcohol testing violations were identified in 24 percent of recent compliance investigations
  • A two-week 2014 Strike Force focusing on the identification of drivers who tested positive resulted in 205 driver enforcement cases, and 138 enforcement cases against carriers for violations relating to drivers with positive test results operating a commercial motor vehicle. These include drivers operating passenger carrying vehicles and transporting hazardous materials.

According to the FMCSA while there has been improvement, the agency is committed to further reducing controlled substance use by Commercial Drivers.

The FMCSA collects data from Motor Carriers to determine how well the industry is doing in reducing alcohol and drug use among employees in safety sensitive positions, including tractor-trailer and bus drivers. The FMCSA has begun notifying trucking companies to submit their drug and alcohol testing results to the agency. These companies are selected at random and notified via email. The FMCSA uses the collected statistics to determine how well drug and alcohol programs are working.

“Those selected are responsible for ensuring the completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of their data submission,” FMCSA’s announcement says. “Instructions on how to respond and qualifying exemptions are included in the notification.”

The Selected carriers must submit their 2014 test results by May 15, 2015.

The chart below outlines the annual minimum drug and alcohol random testing rates established within DOT Agencies and the USCG for 2015.

 

 DOT Agency  2015 Random Drug Testing Rate   2015 Random Alcohol Testing Rate 
 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 
[FMCSA]
 50%  10%
 Federal Aviation Administration
[FAA] 
 25%  10%
Federal Transit Administration
[FTA]
25% 10%
Federal Railroad Administration
[FRA]
25% 10%
Pipline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration 
[PHMSA]
25%  N/A

 United State Coast Guard
[USCG] 

  25%  N/A

 

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