Transportation

FMCSA reduces testing rate of controlled substances

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Washington – For 2016, the federal government is cutting in half the number of random drug tests commercial motor carriers are required to conduct.

Beginning Jan. 1, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will lower to 25 percent, from 50 percent in previous years, its minimum rate for random controlled substances testing. The minimum annual percentage rate for random alcohol testing will hold steady at 10 percent. FMCSA has the option to increase or decrease random testing rates based on annual results within the industry.

The agency reduced its requirements for 2016 after positive random tests for controlled substances fell below 1 percent for three consecutive years from 2011 through 2013. If the positive rate equals or surpasses 1 percent going forward, the agency will re-establish its 50 percent testing requirement.

The reduced testing rate will save motor carriers an estimated $50 million a year, according to FMCSA.