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Random drug-test rate drops to 25% in 2016

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Dec. 21 that in 2016 motor carriers may reduce to 25% from the current 50% the minimum annual percentage rate for conducting random controlled substances testing for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers required to hold commercial driver's licenses. The percentages are based on the average number of driver positions a carrier maintains for the year.

Federal safety regulations allow FMCSA to reduce random testing rates based on the positive test rates for previous years. The agency said that based on the controlled substances random test data for calendar years 2011-2013, the positive rate was below the 1.0 percent threshold for all three years. However, if in the future the reported positive rate for any calendar year is 1.0 percent or higher, FMCSA will return the minimum test rate to 50%.

FMCSA estimates that the change will save motor carriers $50 million a year.

For a copy of FMCSA's notice in the Federal Register, click here.

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