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DOT proposes adding oral fluid specimen for driver drug testing

From Transport Topics.

The Department of Transportation is proposing to add new drug testing guidelines that would permit motor carriers to test truck drivers using oral fluid samples as an alternative to urine testing.

“This will give employers a choice that will help combat employee cheating on urine drug tests and provide a more economical, less intrusive means of achieving the safety goals of the program,” DOT said Feb. 25 in a 119-page pre-publication Federal Register announcement. “Unlike directly observed urine collections, an oral fluid collection is much less intrusive on the tested employee’s privacy.”

The proposal also updates other provisions to DOT drug testing regulations, and is intended to “harmonize” mandatory oral fluid testing guidelines established in 2020 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to the announcement.

The proposal does not address testing for excessive alcohol use.

The agency did not say when the proposal might be effective, but said it is accepting public comment on its proposal for 30 days. “Specifically, we are seeking comments as to whether there are circumstances where either urine or oral fluid should be mandatory,” DOT said.

“In proposing oral fluid testing, the department is offering an alternative specimen for drug testing; however, we are not proposing to eliminate urine drug testing.”

“We are elated that DOT is proposing the inclusion of oral fluids as an approved testing method for DOT purposes,” said Dan Horvath, American Trucking Associations vice president of safety policy. “ATA has long advocated for its inclusion, and the notice today is another step closer in getting it done.”

See the complete article online at Transport Topics.