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FMCSA may “Exercise Discretion” enforcing random drug testing

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that in some locations, it may “exercise discretion” and not enforce minimum annual random drug and alcohol testing rates in areas still affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the ongoing impacts of the emergency, motor carriers may not be able to fully comply with 49 CFR Part 382, that mandates certain testing requirements.

The notice, dated July 6, 2020, can be found online at the FMCSA website. In part, the notice states…

In recognition of these barriers to full compliance in some locations, the Agency may exercise discretion to determine not to enforce the minimum annual percentage random testing rates for drugs and alcohol, and the requirement that each employer ensure that the dates for administering random drug and alcohol tests are spread reasonably throughout the calendar year, as set forth in 49 CFR 382.305(b)(1) and (2) and 49 CFR 382.305(k), respectively. FMCSA emphasizes, however, that employers capable of meeting these requirements must continue to do so.

Employers must continue to select drivers at the required rate of 50 percent of their average number of driver positions for controlled substances, and 10 percent for random alcohol testing during the calendar year 2020. If a test is unable to be completed due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the motor carrier must maintain written documentation of the specific reasons for non-compliance.

Read the complete notice [PDF].