On July 6, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a notice allowing motor carriers to test drivers for drugs and alcohol at a lower rate if they can prove that a deviation from current random testing rates (50% and 10% respectively) was necessary because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The FMCSA is issuing this notice because the pandemic has created, and may continue to create, major disruptions for motor carriers.
Specifically, while COVID-19 disruptions persist, employers may select drivers for testing at a rate of less than 50% of their average number of driver positions for controlled substances and 10% for random alcohol testing during 2020. In addition, enforcement flexibility will be provided for random testing requirements throughout 2020. However, the FMCSA notice warns that employers must comply with current random testing rate requirements if they are able to do so.
To qualify for flexible testing rates, carriers will need to document the specific reasons for noncompliance and any actions they took to identify alternative testing sites or resources.