The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that the annual percentage rate for random controlled substance testing for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) requiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL) will be increasing from the current rate of 25 percent of the average number of driver positions to 50 percent of the average number of driver positions, effective in calendar year 2020.

The FMCSA Administrator must increase the minimum annual random testing percentage rate when the data received under the reporting requirements for any calendar year indicate that the reported positive rate is equal to or greater than 1.0 percent. Based on the results of the 2018 FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Testing Survey, the positive rate for controlled substances random testing increased to 1.0 percent. Therefore, the Agency will increase the controlled substances minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing to 50 percent of the average number of driver positions.

For the 2018 survey, forms were sent to 4,480 randomly selected motor carriers. Of these forms, 1,908 were completed and returned to FMCSA, resulting in usable data from 1,552 carriers (comprising of 300,635 CDL drivers) for random controlled substance testing. Respondents providing non-usable data represent entities that are out of business, exempt, have no testing program in place, or belong to consortia that did not test any drivers for the carrier during 2018.

The estimated positive random controlled substance test rate in 2018 is 1 percent. The 95-percent confidence interval for this estimate ranges from 0.9 to 1.1 percent. In other words, if the survey were to be replicated, it would be expected that the confidence interval derived from each replication would contain the true usage rate in 95 out of 100 surveys. For 2016 and 2017, the estimated positive usage rate for drugs was estimated to be 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

The testing change will begin on January 1, 2020. The minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing, for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) requiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL), will be 50 percent.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT