Trucking Drugs

Legislators push for hair samples as DOT drug-testing method

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Truck and driver, sleep apnea feature Aug2013

Washington – More truck drivers could be tested for drugs through hair samples, under legislation proposed March 19 in both chambers of Congress.

According to lawmakers, hair samples improve safety because they can detect drug use for up to 90 days. Urine samples – the only mandatory test method recognized by the Department of Transportation – detect drug use for only two to three days.

The proposed legislation (H.R. 1467 and S. 806) would allow DOT to recognize hair samples as an alternative testing method. Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) sponsored the House bill, and Sens. John Boozman (R-AR) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the legislation in the Senate.

Some trucking companies already have turned to more advanced testing methods, even though they are not yet required to do so. In a press release, Crawford cited the results of Lowell, AR-based J.B. Hunt Transport’s drug testing program from 2006 to 2014. During that period, 110 applicants failed a urine test for drug use, but 3,845 applicants failed a hair test.

“My bill’s only concern is improving the safety of our roads,” Crawford said in the release.

The American Trucking Associations supports the legislation.