News Alert

USDOT plans to Allow Oral Fluid as Drug Testing Method

March 7th, 2022

The U.S. Department of Transportation makes progress in soon allowing employers the option of including oral fluid specimens in their federal drug testing programs.

A notice of proposed rulemaking has been published on February 28th and the public has 30 days to comment. The objective is to amend the transportation industry’s drug testing program procedures in efforts to combat employee cheating on urine tests.

The following includes the proposals as published in the Federal Register:

  • “Permit Oral Fluid testing as an alternative drug testing method for DOT-regulated workplace testing,

  • Harmonize, as needed, with the new Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,

  • Allow direct observation urine collections by any licensed or certified medical professional legally authorized to take part in a medical examination in the jurisdiction where the collection takes place,

  • Allow MRO staff to contact pharmacies to verify a prescription that an employee provided,

  • ‘Un-cancel’ a test that was ‘cancelled’ by the MRO if circumstances dictate,

  • Allow the use of options of official identification numbers issued by State or Federal authorities to be used instead of Social Security Numbers,

  • Laboratories provide to DOT bi-annually data that is categorized by test reason and specimen type,

  • Laboratories withdrawing from the National Laboratory Certification Program provide DOT with the final data report for the reporting period in which they withdrew,

  • Laboratories would be required to keep non-negative specimens for only 90 days,

  • Require that the phone number provided on the Federal Drug Testing Custody Control Form for collectors connect directly to the collector and/or the collector’s supervisor and not a general call center,

  • Remove provisions that no longer are necessary (such as compliance dates),

  • Remove the ‘cross-reference’ sections found at the end of the ‘subpart’ sections,

  • Add clarifying language to other provisions (such as updated definitions and web links where necessary), and

  • Allow Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) to conduct evaluations virtually.”