No Changes in 2024, But will FMCSA Random Drug Testing Rate Fall in 2025?

No Changes in 2024, But will FMCSA Random Drug Testing Rate Fall in 2025?

According to the DOT’s 2024 DOT Random Testing Rates Notice, annual random testing rates for all DOT Agencies will remain the same as 2023.

Each year, the DOT evaluates the rate of positive testing results for controlled substances across the agency’s modes:

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
  • Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
  • Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

Depending on the reported figures, they modify their testing percentage rates.

According to the DOT’s 2024 DOT Random Testing Rates Notice, annual random testing rates for all DOT Agencies will remain the same as 2023.

For the FMCSA, the rate last changed in 2020 when the testing percentage rate for controlled substances increased to 50% of the average number of driver positions.

DOT Agency2024 Random Drug Testing Rate2024 Random Alcohol Testing Rate
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[FMCSA]
50%10%
Federal Aviation Administration
[FAA]
25%10%
Federal Railroad Administration
[FRA]
25% – Covered Service10% – Covered Service
25% – Maintenance of Way10% – Maintenance of Way
50% – Mechanical25% – Mechanical
Federal Transit Administration
[FTA]
50%10%
Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
[PHMSA] 2023 Random Rate Federal Register Notice
25%N/A

How do DOT random drug testing rates change?

According to 49 CFR 382.403, an employer must prepare an annual summary of the results of its alcohol and controlled substances testing programs performed during the previous calendar year, when requested by the government with regulatory authority over the employer or any of its drivers.

If an employer is notified, during the month of January, the employer must prepare and submit the report to the FMCSA by March 15 of that year and use the Management Information System (MIS) form and instructions as required by 49 CFR part 40.26 and appendix J).

Starting Jan 1, 2024, to submit this annual summary, they must now go through Login.gov to access the DOT’s MIS and to input and submit their drug/alcohol testing data.

This means the latest data we have collected is from the 2022 year of random drug testing, but we are waiting for the report to come out to see what the random positive drug usage rate was.  

Per 49 CFR 382.305(e)(2), when the number of positive tests for controlled substances in a calendar year increases to equal or greater than 1%, the FMCSA must also increase the minimum annual random testing percentage rate.

So, when the results of the 2018 FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Testing Survey showed a 1% increase in the rate of positive tests for controlled substances, the percentage rate for DOT random drug testing increased from 25% to 50% of the average number of driver positions. This increase went into effect on January 1, 2020.

For the FMCSA to lower the random drug testing rate, the rate for positive, DOT-regulated random drug test results must fall below 1% for two consecutive years, per 49 CFR 382.305(g).

Unfortunately, we have not yet had two consecutive years below the 1% threshold because 2021 saw positive usage rate for drugs at 1.2%.

Will the FMCSA Random Testing Rate fall in 2025?

According to the latest survey data, the estimated FMCSA positive usage rate for drugs in 2021 was 1.2 percent. Therefore, we need 2022 and 2023 data to be below 1% before the drug testing rate could decline in 2025. We are waiting for the 2022 collected data to be reported any day now and 2023 data will soon be requested by some employers.

If this happens, should you lower your random testing rate to 25% or not? Our recommendation is to not lower your rate, at least not immediately as  the encouraging trend does not include refusals, failures to produce a sufficient urine sample without a medical explanation, and other situations, which are treated as a positive test.

Furthermore, survey takers donate information on a volunteer basis, which many industry analysts believe discourage carriers with high positive testing rates from contributing information.

Drug and Alcohol Services

CNS offers a comprehensive Drug and Alcohol Consortium Service and are a certified consortium and third-party administrator (C/TPA).

Our experts ensure that all DOT rules and regulations are followed, including the implementation of random drug tests for you and your drivers, updating your company drug testing policies, record retention and document purge management.

We take all the necessary steps and precautions to keep you and your drivers compliant with the DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements.

JOIN CONSORTIUM NOW

For more information, contact us at 800.551.9816 or info@cnsoccmed.com

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