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FMCSA Cuts Random Testing Rate for 2016

FMCSA reports the estimated positive random controlled substance test rate in 2013 was 0.7 percent, compared with the estimated positive rates for drugs of 0.9 percent in 2011 and 0.6 percent in 2012.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will lower commercial motor vehicle drivers' random testing rate for controlled substances from the current 50 percent to 25 percent for calendar year 2016 as of Jan. 1, the agency announced Dec. 21.

Like other DOT agencies, FMCSA conducts a random survey to ensure compliance with the set testing rates, known as the Management Information System or MIS survey. When the surveys' data for two consecutive calendar years indicate the positive rate for controlled substances is less than 1 percent, the FMCSA administrator has the discretion to lower the minimum annual testing rate.

The MIS survey showed a positive rate below 1 percent for 2011 and 2012, and the acting administrator chose to maintain the 50 percent rate for another year. With the 2013 testing year also showing a positive rate below 1 percent, the acting administrator now has approved a lowered testing rate.

For the 2013 survey, notices went out to 3,251 randomly selected motor carriers, and 2,236 of the completed forms were returned to FMCSA, producing useful data from 1,654 carriers with 497,270 CDL drivers. FMCSA reports the estimated positive random controlled substance test rate in 2013 was 0.7 percent, compared with the estimated positive rates for drugs of 0.9 percent in 2011 and 0.6 percent in 2012.

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