FMCSA Issues New COVID-19 Drug Testing Guidance

Scott Mogensen

As an employer, this means that you must continue to select drivers at the required rate of 50 percent for controlled substances and 10 percent for random alcohol testing for 2020. 

DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing Remains in Effect

The FMCSA circulated a notice last week that would provide auditors with some leniency in enforcing DOT drug and alcohol testing compliance under some circumstances. It’s important to point out that this isn’t a waiver and all DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations remain in full effect. As such, all drivers must be enrolled in a DOT-compliant program. In addition, they must make every effort to complete their tests in the required timeframe.

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As an employer, this means that you must continue to select drivers at the required rate of 50 percent for controlled substances and 10 percent for random alcohol testing for 2020. 

Employers must also maintain written documentation for any tests that could not be completed – as well as the specific reason why.

“Employers should document closures or restricted use of testing facilities or the unavailability of testing personnel. Additionally, employers should document actions taken to identify alternative testing sites or other testing resources,” the FMCSA document states.

Despite some of the challenges employers now face in sending their employees for testing, there’s never been a more important time to ensure you’re maintaining a safe, drug-free workplace.

Related: COVID Resources Center

In the first few months of 2020 alone, over 12,000 drug and alcohol violations were reported in the DOT Clearinghouse – a statistic that highlights the prevalence of drug and alcohol testing violations in the industry. With many drivers out of work and experiencing higher stress levels during this time, those numbers are likely even higher now.

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