FMCSA Doubles Random Drug Tests in 2020 to More Than 2 MILLION

Washington D.C. – Commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders will be subjected to double the number of random drug tests in 2020 compared to 2019, according to a new directive by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

On Thursday, the FMCSA announced it is increasing the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) requiring a CDL.

Beginning January 1, 2020, the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing is being increased from 25 percent to 50 percent of the average number of driver positions, the Agency says.


Results from an 2018 survey of 1,552 carriers (comprising of 300,635 CDL drivers) reported a positive rate for controlled substances random testing increased to 1.0 percent.

A greater than or equal to 1.0 percent result in a given calendar year triggered the effective doubling of the random drug test rate for the next calendar year in accordance with 49 CFR 382.403.

FMCSA estimates there are 3.2 million CDL holders operating in interstate commerce and 1 million CDL holders operating in intrastate commerce.

At a 50 percent annual random testing rate, approximately 2.1 million random controlled substances tests will need to be conducted in calendar year 2020, the FMCSA noted.


Further, the FMCSA says this will result in an estimated $50 to 70 million increase in costs to the industry.

However, the Agency announced the minimum annual percentage rate for random alcohol testing will remain at 10 percent.



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