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FMCSA doubles the random drug test rate for truck drivers


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will be dramatically increasing the number of random drug tests that will be administered to Commercial Drivers License (CDL) holders in 2020.

In a December 26 notice, the FMCSA announced that it would increase the minimum annual rate for random drug tests for truck drivers from the current 25% to 50%, effective January 1, 2020.

According to the FMCSA, the increased drug testing rate will mean that 2.1 million random controlled substances tests will need to be conducted in calendar year 2020.

Doubling the random drug test rate is expected to cost the trucking industry an additional $50 to $70 million in 2020.

The FMCSA is required to increase the random drug test rate from 25% to 50% following any calendar year during which the reported positive drug test rate is equal to or greater than 1.0%. This requirement was laid out in a 2001 FMCSA Final Rule entitled “Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing.”

The FMCSA says that the positive rate for controlled substances random testing in 2018 is 1%, up from an estimated positive drug usage rate of 0.7% in 2016 and 0.8% in 2017.

The minimum annual percentage rate for random alcohol testing will remain at 10%, the FMCSA says.


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