The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [“FMCSA”] issued on December 21, 2015, a drug testing program change, effective January 1, 2016, reducing the requirement for random testing from 50 percent to 25 percent of the average number of driver positions for drivers of commercial motor vehicles [CMVs] requiring commercial driver’s license [CDL].
FMCSA Management Information System data reported by carriers showed that the positive test result rate for agency-regulated controlled substances testing for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013 fell below a 1.0 percent threshold, allowing the FMCSA to reduce the testing percentage to 25 percent. The 10% percentage rate for random alcohol tests required by FMCSA will remain the same.
In accordance with 49 CFR 382.305(e)(2) if, in the future, the reported positive rate for any calendar year is equal to or greater than 1.0 percent, the FMCSA Administrator will increase the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing to 50 percent of all driver positions.
The reduction to 25 percent will save DOT-regulated motor carriers money and time. Employers should continue to monitor state and local drug testing developments. FMCSA may also issue new hair and oral fluids testing regulations in 2016.
Written by: Don Benson, Esq.