In Oregon, 8 percent of truckers flunk drug test

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Oregon State Police checked hundreds of urine samples collected anonymously and voluntarily from truckers over three days and found 8 percent had controlled substances in their systems.

The samples were collected April 10-12 during Operation Trucker Check XII at the southbound Woodburn port of entry on Interstate 5. This year’s results were similar to those of the first such operation in 1998, with more positives in some drug categories.

“An analysis of urine collected at three of the 12 trucker check operations since 1998 does not demonstrate a significant difference in the presence of controlled substances among the commercial motor carrier driver population,” said Sgt. Alan Hageman of the Patrol Services Division. “The unacceptable part is that nearly one in 10 commercial drivers had controlled substances in their system while operating 80,000-pound vehicle combinations on our highways.”

Unlike the first Operation Trucker Check in 1998, when nearly 20 percent of the drivers refused to provide urine samples, only 4 percent refused this year.

Of 487 urine samples obtained:

  • 8 (1.6 percent) tested positive for amphetamines, the same as in 1998.
  • 18 (3.7 percent) tested positive for marijuana, nearly double the 1998 result.
  • 2 (0.4 percent) tested positive for methadone.
  • 16 (3.3 percent) tested positive for opiates such as oxycodone (marketed as OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet, etc.), double the 1998 result.
  • 3 (0.6 percent) tested positive for synthetic opiates such as propoxyphene.
  • 5 (1 percent) tested positive for more than one drug category.
  • Overall, 41 of 487 drivers, or 8.4 percent, provided urine that tested positive in at least one drug category.

    In other results of the three-day operation, 505 inspections resulted in 54 vehicles (11 percent of trucks inspected) and 85 drivers (17 percent of drivers inspected) placed out of service for safety violations.

    Driver violations included excessive hours, logbook deficiencies and driver disqualifications. Inspectors summoned medical aid for one driver who was severely hypoglycemic, meaning he had abnormally low blood sugar.

    Officers issued 35 citations and 439 warnings and arrested three drivers for methamphetamine.