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Update on DOT Drug Testing
Scott Mogensen
3 mins read

There’s no question that significant changes are on the horizon when it comes to DOT drug and alcohol testing.

Just what those are, though, remains to be seen—as does the impact they’ll have on the trucking industry.

What to Look For

Most notably, the Department of Health and Human Services is considering adding fentanyl and methadone to the list of drugs that federal and safety-sensitive workers must be tested for.

The federal Drug Testing Advisory Board is also reviewing more than 700 public comments on a proposal dealing with hair testing for federal and safety-sensitive workers. These long-anticipated guidelines were posted on Sept. 10 in the Federal Register, and would allow employers to perform hair testing for pre-employment and random drug testing. However, entities using the hair follicle method would also be required to perform second specimen test types—that is, urine or oral fluid—whenever a hair test is positive or if a donor is unable to submit a sample due to medical or religious reasons.

The reasoning behind this, according to DHHS, is that hair samples indicate when a person has a pattern of regular drug use—not just recent use.

If the proposed rule goes into effect, this means that motor carriers will need to collect both hair and urine samples during every pre-employment or random drug test.

Hair Follicle Drug Testing is Almost Here! Get Ready Now

The public comment period for the rule closed on November 9, and the guidelines have drawn swift opposition from trucking trade groups, academics, and motor carriers themselves. The main complaint: The significant time and monetary expense this extra testing would impose on carriers as well as collecting sites and labs, not to mention the increased liability and litigation risk for private sector companies. Others have disputed the science and brought up arguments and questions about false positive test results.

As Foley previously reported, a recent Trucking Alliance funded study found that nearly 300,000 CDL drivers currently on the road would fail a hair follicle drug test compared to a urine test.

Upgrade to an EASY DOT Drug Testing Program -  Contact Us Today!

Whatever the final rules might be, Foley is here to help. Our DOT Compliant Drug and Alcohol Testing program is a customizable, fully electronic solution providing pre-employment drug tests, random drug and alcohol tests, post-accident drug and alcohol tests, return to duty/follow-up tests, and reasonable suspicion tests. We work with a network of over 12,000 collection sites, and our fully electronic Custody and Control Form (eCCF) removes the risk of paper-based errors, helps to ensure a faster collection process, and reduces omissions and re-tests.

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