FTA Random Drug Testing Requirement to Increase January 1, 2019

Posted: November 29, 2018

fta random drug testing

Effective January 1, 2019, there will be an increase in the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) random drug testing requirement. Currently, the random selection is 25 percent drug testing and 10 percent breath alcohol testing. Starting next year, the FTA random drug testing requirement will increase to 50 percent. The breath alcohol requirement of 10 percent will remain unchanged.

Who Does the New FTA Random Drug Testing Requirement Apply to?

The new FTA random drug testing requirement will apply to your organization if your company receives federal assistance under 49 U.S.C. 5307, 5309, 5311 or 5339, which includes:
  • Grantees
  • Subrecipients
  • Safety-Sensitive Contractors

What are the Details?

Under statute 49 U.S.C. 5331(b)(1), the FTA is required to issue regulations that establishes programs which will require public transportation operators to conduct random testing, among other types of testing, for public transportation employees with safety-sensitive duties. These types of programs help identify any use of controlled substances that are in violation of the law or federal regulations. The new percentage regulation at 49 C.F. R 655.45 is a set default that the 50 percent drug testing requirement must be implemented for all covered employees. This regulation will give the FTA the opportunity to lower the minimum random drug testing rate from 50 percent to 25 percent if the data shows that the positivity rate has gone down by 1.0 percent for two consecutive years. In 2007, this default was met, and the FTA was able to reduce the random drug testing rate to 25 percent as it shows today. The FTA regulation further mandates that if the reported positivity rate has a relapse back to 1.0 percent or greater, the percentage rate must increase the random drug testing rate back to 50 percent. Recent industry data for calendar year 2017 reported the positivity rate increased by 1.06 percent.


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