A new notice published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced that the minimum annual rate of drug testing will double for carriers starting January 1st, 2020.
This change comes with very little warning and will go into effect almost immediately, greatly increasing the burden on trucking companies. According to the FMCSA notice, the agency expects that carriers will spend between $50 and $70 million more every year because of the new policy.
A survey conducted in 2018 by the FMCSA found that random controlled substances tests returned positive results 1% of the time. The increase from previous years prompted the FMCSA to require a greater number of random drug tests.
Previously, carriers were required to randomly test at least 25% of their drivers for controlled substances use. That came out to at least 1.05 million tests conducted in 2018. With the new regulation in place, carriers will be required to randomly screen at least 50% of their drivers. The FMCSA expects at least 2.1 million random controlled substances tests in 2020.
The change was issued on December 20th and was signed into effect by DOT Secretary Elaine Chao.