Prepare Your Drug & Alcohol Program for 2021

Updated October 9, 2020

 Holding keys

The end of any calendar year is a time to closely monitor your DOT drug and alcohol testing program. Two crucial deadlines are fast approaching as 2020 draws to a close. 

1. Random Drug & Alcohol Tests

By December 31st, your completed random tests must equal at least 50 percent of your average number of drivers for drugs and 10 percent of your average number of drivers for alcohol. If you have had cancelled and/or missed test from earlier in the year that leaves you short, you must select a higher rate in your remaining draw to compensate.

The end of 2020 is also a time to at the upcoming year. If the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) were to change its testing rates for 2021, it would probably announce it in December. In the event testing rates change, the information will trigger a series of actions for the carrier, including:

  • Confirming its consortium/third-party administrator is aware of the change, if applicable;
  • Notifying those who handle the motor carrier's expenses (program costs change); and
  • Updating the company's DOT alcohol and drug policy and education materials. 

If the required annual random testing rates remain intact, it is a wise best-practice to periodically review your company's policy to ensure, for instance, the point of contact for drivers has not changed.

2. Annual DOT Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Queries

Carriers must request their first annual queries of the CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse no later than January 5, 2021, for those drivers who were in their Part 382 program on January 6, 2020. Anyone hired after would need an annual query within a year of the pre-employment query, similar to how the annual motor vehicle record is requested under driver qualifications.

If you have not yet signed up with the Clearinghouse or purchased your query bundle, you should consider setting up an account prior to the deadline to avoid any glitches in the process. More Clearinghouse FAQs can be found here.

Speak with a Compliance Specialist now to start preparing for your
2021 Drug & Alcohol Testing Program!


Download Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Compliance Kit