Arkansas Trucking Association

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Driver Positive Drug Tests Up Nearly 13%

A new FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse report shows the number of positive driver drug tests through August increased nearly 13% compared with a year ago. The report showed increases in marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines and positive drug tests overall. Positive marijuana tests account for more than 53% of the total number of the 14 different drug panels tested since the Clearinghouse opened.

In addition to the safety concerns this poses, the increase in positive tests may impact the driver shortage as the overwhelming number of drivers taken off the road due to the violations are not enrolling in return-to-work programs. As of August, 87,438 drivers had at least one drug or alcohol violation, but only 17,501 have returned to “not-prohibited from driving status” after passing return-to-duty tests. More than 52,000 drivers have not started the return-to-duty process, according to the monthly report.

“The greater prevalence of drug testing violations is concerning and jeopardizes the safety of our roadways,” American Trucking Associations spokesman Sean McNally said. “In light of states’ continuing liberalization of marijuana laws, we encourage the federal government to increase attention on research on marijuana impairment, develop a national enforceable impairment standard, and look at ways to maintain appropriate levels of highway safety.”

On Nov. 8, a new FMCSA rule will prevent state licensing agencies from issuing, renewing, upgrading or transferring CDLs to drivers with more than one drug or alcohol violation. The rule will also require states to downgrade commercial licenses for violators. This change closes a loophole for states, which were not receiving violation information from the clearinghouse previously.

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Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
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Little Rock, AR 72201

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You are here: Home News In Brief Driver Positive Drug Tests Up Nearly 13%