Recently the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced a new random testing rate for controlled substances.  Effective on January 1, 2016 the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substance testing for drivers of commercial motor vehicles requiring a commercial drivers license will change from 50 percent of the average number of driver positions to 25 percent.

The Management Information System is a random survey which is conducted in order to ensure compliance with set testing rates.  The data from this survey determines whether the FMCSA administrator has the discretion to lower the minimum annual testing rate.  If the data from the MIS for two consecutive calendar years reveals that the positive rates for controlled substances is less than one percent the minimum annual testing rate may be lowered. For calendar years 2011, 2012, and 2013 the positive rate for controlled substances random testing fell below 1.0 percent.  These results are what led to a lowered testing rate.

This change was likely difficult for members of the drug testing industry as they were given only a few days to prepare for a major change to FMCSA randoms.  Rather than switch, many clients have decided to stick with a testing rate of 50%.  If at any time the positive rate for controlled substances exceeds one percent, the testing rate will revert back to 50 percent.