Carriers required to drug test twice as many drivers in 2020

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The U.S. DOT announced last week it will increase its random driver drug testing rate in 2020 to 50% — meaning that motor carriers will be required to perform random drug tests at a rate equivalent to half their number of drivers. This includes the number of leased owner-operators a carrier contracts with.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a notice Friday, Dec. 27, announcing it would be re-instituting the 50% testing rate due to a slight uptick in positive drug tests in 2018. When the rate of positive drug tests crosses the 1% threshold, FMCSA is required by federal law to institute the 50% random testing rate. The rate hit 1% in 2018, according to FMCSA’s annual survey of motor carrier drug testing results.

The random testing rate had been at 25% in 2017 and 2018. FMCSA estimates that the change will mean 2.1 million random tests will take place in 2020 and cost an extra $50 to $70 million.