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DOT drug testing now open to enforcement discretion

FMCSA issues Notice regarding random controlled drug and alcohol testing

The motor carrier industry is not immune to the effects of COVID-19, and the federal government is signaling flexibility because of it. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on July 6, 2020 that it is leaving the door open to relaxing enforcement of certain DOT drug testing requirements.

Wisconsin Drug Testing Consortium (WDTC) remains committed to working with owner-operators and employers to meet regularly mandated DOT drug testing requirements whenever possible. However, the FMCSA is allowing some leeway in compliance with certain aspects of random drug testing programs due to the ongoing impacts of the national emergency.

The FMCSA said in the release that it “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 administrating random drug and alcohol tests are spread reasonably throughout the calendar year.”

DOT drug testing is still required whenever possible

While recognizing that some employers may encounter challenges to meeting DOT drug testing requirements, FMCSA emphasized that “employers capable of meeting these requirements must continue to do so.”

WDTC will continue working with employers to ensure they continue to meet the require rates of DOT drug testing and random alcohol testing during 2020. If this is not possible due to circumstances pertaining to the public health emergency, employers are required to provide written documentation of the specific reasons.

Examples of acceptable reasons include closures or restricted use of testing facilities, or the unavailability of testing personnel. Employers also need to document actions they take to look for alternative testing sites or resources. WDTC will play an active role in identifying alternatives as needed.

“This Notice is not intended, and should not be perceived, as suspending the current random testing requirements,”FMCSA said. It stressed that employers should not construe its Notice as a blank check to skip DOT drug testing efforts.

About Wisconsin Drug Testing Consortium

Wisconsin Drug Testing Consortium is an accredited, Certified Third Party Administrator (C-TPA), and specializes in consortium management; a variety of drug testing methods, including urine, hair and fingernails; post-accident testing; pre-employment drug tests; criminal background checks; supervisor training programs to keep employees compliant with DOT regulations; pre-employment DOT physicals; and paternity DNA testing. Headquartered in Green Bay, WDTC also has offices in Oshkosh, Appleton and Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Call 888-784-8842 or visit for more information.

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