On December 27, 2019 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it was doubling the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substance testing for commercial motor vehicle drivers, from 25 percent to 50 percent, effective January 1, 2020, in response to rising positive drug-testing rates. FMCSA also announced that the minimum annual rate for random alcohol testing will remain at 10 percent.
Under the federal rules, FMCSA must increase the minimum annual random percentage rate when the data received under the reporting requirements for any calendar year indicate a reported positive rate of equal to or greater than 1 percent. Based on 2018’s FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Survey, the positive rate for controlled substances from random testing increased to 1 percent. The estimated positive usage rate for drugs in 2016 and 2017 was 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent respectively.
FMCSA estimates there are 3.2 million CDL holders operating in interstate commerce and 1 million CDL holders operating in intrastate commerce. That means that the minimum number of random drug tests performed will increase from 1.05 million at the previous 25 percent rate to approximately 2.1 million in calendar year 2020. The agency estimates it will cost the trucking industry an estimated $50 million to $70 million to conduct the additional tests. For more information contact ISRI’s Transportation Safety Director, Commodor Hall.