Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Issues Notice of Enforcement Discretion Determination: Random Controlled Substance and Alcohol Testing

“On March 13, 2020, the President declared a national emergency under 42 U.S.C. § 5191(b), related to the effects of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is aware that the motor carrier industry continues to experience operational disruptions caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. As the Nation engages in a phased re-opening, the pace of return to normal operations will vary across the country. In some regions of the United States, motor carrier employers subject to controlled substance (drug) and alcohol testing under 49 CFR part 382 may be unable to comply with certain testing requirements due to the ongoing impacts of the emergency.

“In recognition of these barriers to full compliance in some locations, the Agency 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 administering random drug and alcohol tests are spread reasonably throughout the calendar year, as set forth in 49 CFR 382.305(b)(1) and (2) and 49 CFR 382.305(k), respectively. FMCSA emphasizes, however, that employers capable of meeting these requirements must continue to do so.

“Employers must continue to select drivers at the required rate of 50 percent of their average number of driver positions for controlled substances, and 10 percent for random alcohol testing during the calendar year 2020. If a test is unable to be completed due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the motor carrier must maintain written documentation of the specific reasons for non-compliance. For example, employers should document closures or restricted use of testing facilities or the unavailability of testing personnel. Additionally, employers should document actions taken to identify alternative testing sites or other testing resources.

“Similarly, employers who are unable to ensure that the dates for administering random controlled substances and alcohol tests are spread reasonably throughout the calendar year should document the specific reasons why they did not meet this requirement. For example, in addition to the lack of available testing facilities or personnel, there may be other factors, such as prolonged or intermittent driver furloughs due to the impacts of COVID-19.

“The Agency issues this Notice to assure employers unable to fully comply with the requirements identified above that we will provide reasonable enforcement flexibility during this unprecedented pandemic, while also meeting FMCSA’s core safety mission. This Notice is not intended, and should not be perceived, as suspending the current random testing requirements.

“This Notice pertains to employers’ noncompliance, during calendar year 2020, with the random testing requirements described above. The Agency may exercise enforcement discretion in connection with motor carrier investigations occurring in calendar year 2021.

This Notice:

  1. Acknowledges the current and anticipated disruptions to the administration of drug and alcohol testing caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency;
  2. Considers the interests of public safety and the continuing need to free up medical supplies and facilities for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;
  3. Requires that employers who are capable of complying with 49 CFR 382.305(b) and 49 CFR 382.305(k) must continue to do so; and
  4. Creates no individual rights of action and establishes no precedent for future determinations.”

 

Contact us if you have any questions!

CBD, Medical Marijuana, and Workplace Drug Testing!

During this training, you will learn about CBD Oils & Medical Marijuana and their impact on the workplace!

– CBD Oil vs. THC – what is the difference?

– Will CBD Oil products show up on a drug test?

– Medical Marijuana – Understanding the General Process

– Know Your State Laws

– Building Your Policy and Drug-Free Workplace Program- Important Considerations

– The Case Against Excluding Marijuana Testing From Your Substance Abuse Policy

 

2020 Webinar Schedule

Below is our 2020 Webinar Schedule.  All of the webinars listed with an asterisk (*) beside the date are offered at no charge! All other webinars are $35 per attendee. If you would like to register, please contact us!

January 30th *                                                                                         2:00- 2:45 pm

CBD Oils and Medical Marijuana – Understanding the Impact on the Workplace

February 27th                                                                                          1:30- 3:30 pm

Reasonable Suspicion Supervisory Training- A Must!

March 31st                                                                                               1:30- 2:30 pm

Driver Qualification Files – Detailed Requirements, Processes, and Procedures

April 30th *                                                                                               2:00- 2:45 pm

Hair Testing, Oral Fluid Testing, and Urine Drug Testing – Finding the Best Fit

May 27th *                                                                                                2:00- 2:45 pm

Developing a non-DOT Testing Program – Adding a Non-DOT Testing Program to Your Existing DOT Testing Program

June 30th                                                                                                   2:00- 2:45 pm

FMCSA Vehicle Maintenance Recordkeeping and Preventive Maintenance Program – What is Required?

July 29th                                                                                                    2:00- 3:00 pm

DOT Drug Testing Programs – The Basics

August26th                                                                                               1:30- 2:30 pm

Hours of Service 101 – The Basics of Recordkeeping, Regulations, and Exemptions

September 30th *                                                                                   2:00- 2:45 pm

Substance Abuse and Addiction in the Workplace – the Impact on the Employer

October 28th *                                                                                         2:00- 2:45 pm

Behind the Scenes of the Medical Review Officer Process –What Really Happens

November 18th *                                                                                    2:00- 2:45 pm

Expanding your Drug Free Workplace Program –Reasons to Review Your Current Program Now

December 10th *                                                                                     2:00- 2:45 pm

Current Trends and Alerts in Substance Abuse

Understanding The FMCSA Clearinghouse!

In preparation for the upcoming FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse effective January 6, 2020, NTA offers:

  • Updated FMCSA Substance Abuse Policies and Driver Educational Materials to add the new component of FMCSR Part 382.601 (#12). These updates are included in the Annual Management Fee for existing clients.
    • Policies and Educational material can be purchased by non-clients for $50.00.
  • Important: Owner-operators are required to designate a Third Party Administrator (TPA) to manage their clearinghouse processes. Nationwide Testing Association Inc is your Third Party Administrator. If you need help registering and designating us as your TPA, please call our office.
    • Managing the clearinghouse process for owner-operators will be included in your annual management fee.

 

Our clients may choose to add the following package of services to their program. This package may be billed as a monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscription.

  • Full Queries run automatically after the completion of a pre-employment DOT drug test.
  • Annual Limited Queries run automatically on all drivers, either based on a predetermined date or scheduled with your annual MVR with Nationwide Testing Association.
  • Coordination, evaluation, and assistance with all required reporting.
  • Assistance in understanding and interpreting clearinghouse data.

Contact us today for more information!

Electronic Cigarettes & Vaping in the Workplace

As the use of e-cigarettes grows, employers are faced with a new question: Do you allow vaping in the workplace? E-cigarettes are devices that can be used to deliver nicotine or other substances to the user. Recent trends show a significant increase in e-cigarettes being used to vape THC.

If a workplace vaping policy isn’t something your organization has addressed yet, consider making it a priority for the future. As an employer, you will want to consider the pros and cons of e-cigarette use and examine how it fits into your company’s culture and goals.

If you choose to implement a smoking/vaping policy, you should evaluate your current smoking policy for consistency with state and federal laws. Consider your company insurance plans (if applicable) when determining if a smoking/vaping policy is right for you!

If you make any changes to your policy, be sure to communicate them clearly and in advance with your employees by updating your handbook, posting, and distributing the new policy to employees. When you introduce the policy to your employees, have a discussion with them and provide them a resource within your organization that they can go to if they have questions.

For assistance developing a policy, contact us!

 

 

Drug-Impaired driving

Drugged, or drug-impaired, driving is defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as driving under the influence of substances such as cocaine, marijuana, opioids, and includes drugs prescribed by a physician. Often people mix substances, which can change the effects of a drug making them unpredictable. Drug use can slow reaction times, cause drowsiness or dizziness, impact judgment, and increase aggression. This may be demonstrated by a driver weaving in and out of the lane, driving slower or faster speeds than permitted, and/or paying little attention to the road or traffic signals.

How many people drive under the influence of drugs? According to a Drug Use and Health Survey, approximately 12.8 million Americans aged 16 or older self-reported that they drove under the influence of illicit drugs in 2017.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publishes research about the impact of drug-impaired driving and compares its data to previous years. According to their most recent findings, approximately 20% of surveyed drivers tested positive for potentially impairing drugs. The number of drivers who tested positive for marijuana increased by 48% from 2007 to 2014. Weekend evenings from 10 pm until midnight and from 1 to 3 am show a higher prevalence of drug-impaired driving.

Changes to states’ marijuana legislation coupled with a gap in education have led to misconceptions about the effects of marijuana, including how driving under the influence of marijuana may pose a risk to our roadways. Data shows that driving after smoking cannabis interferes with psychomotor functions and a driver’s ability to multitask. A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association reports that 41.1% of the drug-positive, fatally injured drivers were positive for marijuana. Since recreational marijuana was legalized, marijuana-related traffic deaths have increased by 151 %.

Do you have company vehicles? Do you have concerns about your staff driving while drug-impaired? Call us today to talk about your options! Dial 1.800.452.0030 ext. 203