All Time "High" Positives

Positive Drug Tests are rising at an alarming rates for truck drivers.


Marcin Rogalski

2/17/20232 min read

The trucking business comes with many rules that need to be followed. One of these rules is mandated for every truck driver with a commercial drivers license (CDL). This rule is that every driver must take a drug test prior to driving a truck and must also be enrolled in a random consortium. A random consortium program will randomly select drivers to go take a drug and/or alcohol test. Before 2019, the random percentage of drug tests that needed to be completed for a company was 25%, and 10% for alcohol tests. With the alarming rate of positive drug tests, the Department of Transportation (DOT), has increased the percentage for random drug tests to 50% for every company (alcohol testing percentage remains the same). As a result of the increased drug testing percentage, positive drug tests have increased by 18% just last year (2023).


ground cannabis on clear plastic bag
ground cannabis on clear plastic bag

Rate of positive drug tests has doubled since the new implementation has been imposed. Marijuana alone, has seen a 31% increase in violations. A report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Clearinghouse has reported that nearly 41,000 truck drivers have tested positive for marijuana in 2022. What many people do not realize is that DOT regulations are federal. This means that the same rules apply in every state. It does not matter if marijuana is legal in Illinois or Iowa, if you travel in Nebraska it is not legal (see full list of where marijuana is legal here). Cocaine is the second most common drug test to be tested positive among truckers, but it does not come close to the percent of positive marijuana tests. As the table shows, marijuana makes up the majority of the positive drug tests among all the other drugs that are tested for.

Positive Drug Tests Increase

Top 4 substances identified in positive drug tests
Top 4 substances identified in positive drug tests

What happens now?

As of right now the FMCSA and DOT have not proposed any other changes, but at this rate I would not be surprised if the random drug testing percentage were to increase by even more. Some of you may also be wondering: what happens if someone gets a positive drug test result? The answer is pretty simple. I will explain the steps below.

  1. You need to find a certified doctor or therapist.

  2. You will be given an evaluation and a course to pass by the doctor or therapist.

  3. Once you pass and are evaluated again, you will have to pass a drug test again.

  4. Once you pass this drug test, you are able to return to driving a truck, however, you are not done yet.

The doctor or therapist sends your employer an after-report evaluation and a "Follow-up" schedule for you to follow. These tests are basically like random drug tests. The only deference is that they will be observed. Observed follow-up drug tests. This means that someone will have to go into the bathroom with you and "observe" you. After you complete all your follow-ups, you will be cleared from the FMCSA Clearinghouse and will finally be all done.


For more information or questions about drug testing feel free to reach out to Master-Med LLC