Fleet Trucking Legislation Drugs

Groups divided over hair sampling for truck driver drug tests

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Truck and driver, sleep apnea feature Aug2013

Washington – The American Trucking Associations wants Congress to allow fleets to use hair samples to test truck drivers for illegal drugs.

However, a group of labor organizations has another message for Congress: Not so fast. The issue is in the spotlight as lawmakers consider proposed legislation that would expand drug testing for commercial truck drivers. The proposal would allow the Department of Transportation to recognize hair samples as an alternative testing method to urine samples, which detect drug use for only two to three days. Hair samples can detect drug use for up to 90 days.

“Hair testing is a validated, proven and effective method for detecting illegal drug use that has been widely embraced by private industry and many governments worldwide,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves wrote in an Aug. 24 letter to Congress.

Opponents say the measure would go too far. Seventeen groups, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Air Line Pilots Association, International, spoke out against the proposed changes.

“It is widely known that hair specimen can test positive for a drug that its donor was merely exposed to but never actually ingested,” the groups wrote in an Aug. 20 letter to Congress.