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Drug Testing Procedures in Trucking: An Overview

Plastic baggie of methamphetamine alongside a lighter, a syringe, and a spoon of methamphetamine that has been heated.
January 11, 2022  |  By Ron Gordon, Doug Voss, Andrew Balthrop, Joe Cangelosi

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After three decades of mandatory urine drug screening, regulators may allow carriers to submit drivers’ hair test and/or oral fluid test results to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. Such changes would have implications for truckers, trucking firms, and the millions of Americans who drive alongside 80,000 pound tractor trailers each day.

We outline the strengths and weaknesses of urine testing, oral fluid testing, and hair testing. We also examine the debate over hair testing — which detects more drug use than the other two methods but is seen by some as discriminatory — and potential outcomes of policymakers’ recent drug testing proposals.

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