AccuSource Blog

2019: No Change to FMCSA Random Testing Rates

fmcsa_logoAs of January 10, 2019, there will be no changes to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) random drug testing rates. The agency is required to publish its required random testing rates only when they are changing.

Employers who are subject to the FMCSA's authority are expected to continue to randomly drug test employees at a 25% rate, and randomly alcohol test employees at a 10% rate. Since the FMCSA has not yet published any updates in 2019, these rates will remain the same for the time being.

The "Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing" rule by the FMCSA, published August 17, 2001, initially set the random testing rate at 50% and includes a provision indicating that the the FMCSA Administrator may lower the random drug and alcohol testing rates at his or her discretion when the industry-wide positive testing rate is below 1.0% for two consecutive calendar years. This threshold was surpassed in 2013 when the positive testing rate fell below 1.0% for three consecutive calendar years. The Administrator decided to maintain the annual testing rate of 50% for calendar year 2015 in order to ensure the reliability of the data. When the data proved reliable, the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing for drivers of commercial motor vehicles requiring a commercial driver's license was reduced from 50% of the average number of driver positions to 25% of the average number of driver positions for calendar year 2016. However, the minimum annual percentage rate for random alcohol testing remained unchanged at 10%.

Per 49 CFR 382.305(e)(2) the FMCSA Administrator will increase the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled drug tests back to 50% for all driver positions if the reported positive rate is equal or greater than 1.0% for any calendar year.

AccuSource will stay abreast of any changes to these rates and update this blog accordingly.

  • The current 2019 DOT Random Testing Rates chart can be found here.
  • More information on Part 382 of the FMCSA Regulations can be found here.
  • Best practices for DOT random drug and alcohol testing can be found here.


Download our free Drug Screening Infographic today to learn more about the pros and cons of common drug testing methods.

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Luke Runnells

Luke Runnells

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