FMCSA To Maintain 50 Percent Random Drug Testing Rate in 2015

U.S. Department of Transportation

The FMCSA today announced that the agency has committed to maintain a 50% random drug testing rate in 2015 for “employees in safety sensitive positions,” such as truck and bus drivers.

The FMCSA’s decision to maintain a 50% random drug test rate stems from a 2012 drug and alcohol testing survey that found:

  • -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.

“While results for FMCSA’s 2012 Drug and Alcohol Testing Survey of approximately 2,000 carriers indicate that positive random drug testing results have decreased for a second year, the agency is committed to seeking additional information related to driver test rates and will continue to monitor industry testing programs before re-evaluating the controlled substances random test rate for 2016,” the DOT said.