What Service Does Drug Testing Consortium Provide?

Consortium Pool DOT drug test

What Service Does Drug Testing Consortium Provide?

A Consortium will manage all, or part, of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA ) drug and alcohol testing program, and often they maintain the required testing records. A consortium manages the DOT/FMCSA testing programs of owner-operators and independent drivers who are not allowed to manage the tests themselves. One of the biggest benefits of enrolling in a drug testing consortium is that the driver has a support system and organization of all documents, such as policies, test results, MIS reports and many others.

Owner-operators and independent drives must test for alcohol and the following 5 drugs:

  • marijuana
  • cocaine
  • opiates
  • amphetamines
  • phencyclidine (PCP)

It was reported in 2015 that for the first time in 10 years, the positive rate of random drug testing has gone above 0.90 percent and continues a slight but steady increase in positive rates. There are a few tests that are required by law that drivers need to pass.

Pre-employment. This is a pre-qualification condition of a driver that wants to be hired by a company. However, a pre-employment test is not required if a driver has already participated in a drug testing program within the previous 30 days and was either tested for drugs within the past 6 months or participated in a random drug testing program for the previous 12 months.

Post accident.  Any driver who is involved in an accident that results in a death or citation for a moving violation has to submit to a drug and alcohol test following the accident. [Please refer to our other blog for more information on post-accident DOT tests].

Random Testing. The DOT random drug and alcohol testing program must be made by a scientifically valid method and testing must be spread reasonably throughout the calendar year. Random alcohol testing should only be conducted on a driver while he/she is on duty, just before driving or just after driving.

The chart below shows the annual minimum drug and alcohol testing rates for 2016:

DOT Agency 2016 Random Drug Testing Rate 2016 Random Alcohol Testing Rate
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
[FMCSA]
25% 10%
Federal Aviation Administration
[FAA]
25% 10%
Federal Railroad Administration
[FRA]
25% 10%
Federal Transit Administration
[FTA]
25% 10%
Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
[PHMSA]
25% N/A
United States Coast Guard

[USCG]

 

25% N/A

Reasonable suspicion. If a company has reasonable suspicion that a driver has violated the drug use or alcohol misuse prohibitions then the driver must be tested. Alcohol testing for reasonable suspicion is conducted while the driver is on duty, just before driving, or just after driving.

It needs to be noted that there is a 5 year minimum requirement for maintaining test records related to a positive drug or alcohol test and test refusals. That being said, if a company terminates a driver after a violation, the company may discard the drivers record after 5 years. However, if a company re-hires a previously terminated driver, it is required that the records be kept beyond 5 years.

For more information or to enroll, contact Consortium Pool today!