The safety of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and the public is paramount, which is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires companies to perform random drug and alcohol testing on their drivers. However, the question remains: how frequently do companies carry out random drug and alcohol testing to ensure compliance with FMCSA regulations?
The FMCSA estimates that the cost of drug and alcohol-related crashes is over $120 billion annually. According to a study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 10% of all commercial drivers use drugs and/or alcohol while on the job. Drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol have impaired judgment, reduced reaction times, and diminished awareness of their surroundings. This behavior not only puts the driver at risk but also endangers other motorists on the road.
The DOT agency requires motor carriers to randomly test at least 50% for random drug tests and 10% for alcohol test per year. This is a significant increase from the previous requirement of 25%.
The new update in FMCSA Drug Testing Consortium also requires that carriers test drivers for four semi-synthetic opioids (oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone), in addition to the previously mandated drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and phencyclidine.
According to DOT, “An employer may perform testing beyond that required by the DOT rules, but the employer may not represent such testing as a DOT test and must place non-DOT covered employee drug and alcohol testing in a pool aka stand-alone pool that is completely separate from the DOT random testing pool to make a random testing consortium.
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