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FMCSA Relaxes Truck Driver Drug Testing Requirements

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has relaxed the truck driver drug testing requirements that trucking companies are required to comply with in the wake of the unique circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, it has decided to provide companies with reasonable flexibility if they are unable to completely comply with the federal agency’s drug testing requirements during the pandemic. That flexibility comes as a result of the difficulties trucking companies are currently facing in conducting the random drug testing that they are required to under federal laws.

Trucking companies are still required to conduct random drug testing of truck drivers based on the typical testing rate. They must test at least 50% of drivers for drugs and 10% of all their drivers for alcohol. However, in cases in which trucking companies are unable to conduct the random drug and alcohol testing required under the law, certain relaxations have been allowed.

In such cases, the company must provide adequate written documentation supporting the reasons for its inability to comply with federal drug and alcohol testing laws. The company must also provide documentation that supports its efforts to identify other sites or resources. Companies that are not able to comply with the random drug and alcohol testing laws must provide detailed documentation about why these requirements remain unfulfilled.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been relaxing some of its standards for trucking companies and truck drivers in the wake of the increased pressure on companies and drivers during the pandemic. Earlier this year, it had allowed a relaxation of the hours of service rules for truck drivers in view of the higher shipping needs since the start of the crisis. The increased need for personal protective equipment and other medical equipment, food, groceries and essential supplies was resulting in trucking and supply backlogs across the country. The rules were relaxed in order to help facilitate a faster delivery of essential items across the country.

While the federal agency has relaxed regulations in view of these unique circumstances, trucking companies must bear in mind that regular alcohol and drug testing remains a vital part of safe trucking in this country. Companies must do their best to make sure that these rules are complied with.

While the relaxed rules may be needed during the COVID-19 pandemic to ease with supply chain demands, an unintended and tragic result could be more trucking accidents on the road due to more drivers engaging in risky behaviors while driving their tractor-trailer.

The Atlanta truck accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent persons injured as a result of trucking accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a trucking accident, speak to an attorney at our firm, and discuss your legal options for a claim. You may be eligible for damages that include medical expenses, lost income, as well as diminished future earnings. You may also qualify for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Filing a trucking accident claim will involve conducting a thorough investigation of the accident to identify all liable parties involved, in order to maximize compensation for you. Talk to an attorney and get a free evaluation of your case. 

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