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DOT Clearinghouse Data Shows High Refusal Rate
Scott Mogensen
3 mins read
Drug test refusals account for 14% of drug testing violations in the DOT Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse. This is according to data released in the FMCSA’s latest  Monthly Summary Report. This report includes all drug and alcohol testing violation data that has been collected since the Clearinghouse went into effect in January 2020.

The belief is that the vast majority of these refusals are drivers trying to avoid a positive test result – something that some drivers have been able to successfully pull off with urinalysis.

The big question is how prevalent this issue is – and how many unqualified drivers are operating on our roadways (and for your company). According to researchers at the University of Central Arkansas, it could be as high as 300,000 nationwide.

A Call for Hair Testing

Hair follicle drug testing, while not yet an approved DOT testing method, is used by many large carriers who want to be sure that new drivers don’t have a history of drug use prior to letting them behind the wheel. Unlike urinalysis, it’s not possible to cheat a hair follicle drug test. It also provides a much more thorough look at a driver’s drug use over the past 90 days. This enables employers to look for patterns of drug abuse that aren’t available through a urine test alone.

Many of these larger carriers – along with the American Trucking Associations (ATA) – has been calling for hair testing to be an approved DOT drug testing method. Before the COVID pandemic hit, FMCSA officials believed the final rule would be published in early 2020. That date has since been pushed back, but it is on the horizon and could be coming soon.

Clearinghouse Enforcement is Here! Our FREE Webinar Will Help You Prepare

If the 300,000 driver estimate is correct, that means you could have at least one unqualified driver operating for you now that would fail a hair follicle drug test. Now is the time to identify those unqualified drivers and ensure you have a safe, full and reliable fleet – because once the regulation goes into effect, we could see many drivers pulled from duty.

When this happens, the driver shortage will likely get worse – and it will make it even harder to find well-qualified drivers. By starting now, you’ll not only work towards building a safer fleet, but it will help you prepare for the day when hair testing becomes a DOT-approved testing method.

To learn more about DOT hair follicle hair testing, and making it part of your pre-employment process, click here or call  (860) 815-0764.

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