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Truck Driver Drug Testing Results are Easily Falsified

By November 3, 2007July 18th, 2019Highway Safety Truck drivers, are required to undergo drug testing, however, the Government Accountability Office discovered rampant problems in drug testing for commercial truck drivers. The investigators found that the testing was avoided so easily that officials were surprised that anyone would ever fail a test.
The GAO found that drug users could easily beat urine tests with widely available drug-masking products. In addition, the GAO found that 21 of 24 sites that collect drug samples failed to follow Department of Transportation guidelines. The GAO reported that only 1.7 percent of tested drivers failed the federally mandated tests and were surprised that the numbers was that high..
Lawmakers, though, said with so many loopholes there is no way to determine just how many impaired truck drivers are on the roads today. Illegal drug use has been cited as a factor in 2 percent of all truck crashes government requires drug and alcohol testing for nearly all mass transportation workers, including commercial truck drivers.
The investigation of the private collection sites that offer drug testing found that 75 percent failed to secure their facilities from substances that could alter or dilute urine samples. Almost half failed to ask employees to empty their pockets, which could hide substances used to defeat the drug tests.
Such products with names like “Urineluck” and “The Whizzinator” are available over the Internet. Drug-free human urine can also be purchased in many locations and smuggled into testing sites. Also, those who are not drug users may use fake driver’s licenses and take the tests for others, investigators found.
At all 24 sites surveyed, government investigators used bogus drivers licenses. Committee members said it was easy to see that drug users are consistently using products from the Internet to skirt the law.
“It’s one thing to go to a pop concert and use these drugs,” said Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn. “It’s another thing to get behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound vehicle.”
With no centralized federal database of drivers who have failed drug tests, lawmakers and trucking industry officials said drug users can easily apply for a new job if a driver fails another company’s drug test. The “job hopping” can be fixed with congressional action, said Rep. John Boozman, R-Rogers, a member of the subcommittee. “We really do need a system where employers can very readily look and see where somebody’s been fired four times for drugs,” Boozman said. “I think that’s where Congress comes in. I think that would be very doable.”
An Arkansas law that takes effect Jan. 1 creates a statewide database that indicates positive drug and alcohol tests for holders of commercial driver’s licenses. Six other states have similar laws.
The American Trucking Association supports a national clearinghouse for test results, said Greer Woodruff, a member of the association’s safety policy committee and a senior vice president at Lowell-based J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. Woodruff said he was convinced J.B. Hunt and other carriers are following federal regulations. He blamed “holes in the system” for drug users that go undetected.”The ATA recommended Congress consider a ban on the sale of substances that dilute or adulterate urine. With more than 12 million people subject to mandatory drug testing, each one using the products poses a serious safety concern, Woodruff said. The industry also called for more government oversight of collection sites and for rules that allow alternative drug testing methods, such as by hair or saliva.