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According to the department, the decision to maintain the current rate was based on data from industry drug-test lab results, the DOT’s 2012 drug and alcohol testing survey, and additional investigations.
The collected information demonstrated that:
Despite these increases, the 2012 drug and alcohol testing survey indicated that positive results from random tests have decreased. About 2,000 carriers participated in that survey.
“The decrease in random positivity rates could be misleading because it doesn’t include the number of non-negatives being certified as negative by the medical review officer due to legitimate prescription medications,” said Cooner.
The DOT said it will continue to monitor industry testing programs and would review the testing rates again in 2016.
“I think the proposed Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, a database of all controlled substances and alcohol test results for commercial driver’s license holders, is much more likely to decrease positive test results than simply testing more employees,” said Judi Braswell, vice president of business development at Behavioral Health Systems.
Braswell, a qualified Substance Abuse Professional under DOT regulations, supports the department’s decision to keep the drug-testing rate at 50 percent. “Until there is access to accurate and up-to-date information, with employer mandates to utilize the [proposed database], employees testing positive are able to ‘job hop’ to avoid the consequences of testing positive and, unfortunately, their next positive test may be post-accident,” she said.
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