Drug tests will tighten to catch cheaters

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. is looking to strengthen its drug and alcohol testing program to crack down on those who try to cheat the system.

Specifically, the DOT is proposing that laboratories test all specimens for “adulterants” and determine whether samples were switched. If a specimen has been tampered with, it will be reported to an employer as a refusal to test.

The regulations – first issued a decade ago – also apply to Canadian truckers who cross the border.

“Provisions helping to prevent cheating on drug and alcohol testing are important because they will help keep alcohol- and drug-impaired workers from operating ships, aircraft, trains, buses and trucks where mistakes can injure and kill people,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater said yesterday when announcing the plan.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking recognizes changes in testing procedures that have taken place over the last decade, and incorporates clearer language for guidance and interpretations.

The department is also proposing a procedure to permit confirmed positive test results to be reported by the MRO to all DOT-regulated employers for whom the employee currently works.

The DOT will accept comments on the proposal for the next 120 days, and plans to hold three public meetings within three months. n

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