FMCSA Increases Random Drug Test Rate To 50% For 2020


Transport Topics --- According to a document published in the Federal Register on December 27, 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is increasing the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing from 25% of the average number of driver positions to 50% of the average number of driver positions. This change was effective on January 1, 2020.

FMCSA estimates there are 3.2 million commercial driver license holders participating in interstate commerce and 1 million CDL holders participating in intrastate commerce. Under the annual random testing rate of 25% of all driving positions, this meant at least 1.05 million random controlled substances tests were to be conducted. With a new annual random testing rate of 50%, approximately 2.1 million random tests will need to be conducted in 2020.

The minimum annual percentage rate for random alcohol testing will remain at 10%.

The document explains that the FMCSA administrator must increase the minimum annual random testing percentage rate when the data received under the requirements for any calendar year indicates that the reported positive rate is equal to or greater than 1%. FMCSA’s 2018 Drug and Alcohol Testing Survey revealed that the positive rate for controlled substances in random testing increased to 1%.

Based on the 2018 survey results, about 94% of the subject motor carriers had random controlled substance and alcohol testing programs in place. The survey also revealed that 99% of CDL drivers participated in such programs.