Safety

Agency takes action tied to controlled substances testing

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in late December announced that it was increasing the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing for drivers of commercial motor vehicles requiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL) from the current rate of 25 percent of the average number of driver positions to 50 percent of the average number of driver positions.

It took effect as of January 1, 2020.

The minimum annual percentage rate for random alcohol testing will remain at 10 percent.

The Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing rule allows the FMCSA to determine whether the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing should be increased or decreased.

Under this system, when the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing is 25 percent, and the data received for any calendar year indicate that the reported positive rate is equal to or greater than 1 percent, the FMCSA Administrator is required to increase the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances to 50 percent for all driver positions. Thus, the new annual random testing percentage rate, which started January 1 of this year. 

Each calendar year FMCSA requires motor carriers selected for the survey to submit their Department of Transportation drug and alcohol testing program results.

For the 2018 survey, forms were sent to 4,480 randomly selected motor carriers. Of these forms, 1,908 were completed and returned to FMCSA for random controlled substance testing.

The notice is available here.

Municipalities must register with alcohol, drug violation database

The FMCSA has developed an information clearinghouse to better ensure that drivers cannot conceal drug and alcohol violations by moving on to another job. There are no exemptions for municipalities.

The FMCSA Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is a secure online database that will give employers, the FMCSA, state driver licensing agencies and state law enforcement personnel real-time information about commercial driver’s license and commercial learner’s permit holders’ drug and alcohol program violations.

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