In a notice published on July 6th, the FMCSA announced that the agency would “provide reasonable enforcement flexibility” on drug and alcohol testing requirements. However, they do note that “this Notice is not intended, and should not be perceived, as suspending the current random testing requirements.”
“As the Nation engages in a phased re-opening, the pace of return to normal operations will vary across the country,” reads the announcement. “In some regions of the United States, motor carrier employers subject to controlled substance (drug) and alcohol testing under 49 CFR part 382 may be unable to comply with certain testing requirements due to the ongoing impacts of the emergency.”
Carriers are still required to have a 50% drug testing rate and 10% random alcohol testing rate of their drivers in 2020. But the “flexibility” means that FMCSA will allow for carriers to fall under that number if they can document “the specific reasons” why they weren’t able to meet the requirement.
Even employers who are “unable to fully comply with the requirements identified” could skip the consequences. Though it is unclear how FMCSA is defining “reasonable enforcement flexibility.”