What You Need to Know About Drug Testing Consortium

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The Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires drug and alcohol testing for all businesses in the transportation industry. Failure to comply with these requirements can lead to hefty fines and even prevent your business from operating.

One of the requirements is to be part of a drug testing consortium. It is a random testing pool of owner-operators of trucks from different companies, and a percentage of the people in the consortium are required to be tested randomly. Here is what you need to know about DOT consortium programs:

Importance of Consortia

Companies need to comply with regulations. New owner-operators will have a DOT-FMCSA safety audit, or a new entrant examination, within 12 months after the start of operations. The regulators will verify a new entrant’s DOT-FMCSA drug and alcohol testing program. First-time owner-operators will fail the safety audit if they do the following:

  • The new entrant did not enroll in a random drug and alcohol testing consortium program.
  • They had no drug/alcohol testing program.
  • They had no random drug/alcohol testing program.
  • Their driver refused to take a required drug/alcohol test.
  • They knew that their driver had a blood alcohol content of 0.04 or higher and still allowed them to operate.
  • They allowed a driver who failed to complete required follow-up procedures after getting a positive result for drugs to operate.

Owner-operators must take two steps to comply with the DOT FMCSA regulations. The first step is to have a pre-employment drug test with a negative result before operating a commercial motor vehicle. The second step is to enroll in a random testing consortium, as owner-operators are prohibited from managing random testing themselves.

Benefits of Consortia

1. Lowers Costs

Joining a consortium program helps lower costs through economies of scale. The more drivers evaluated, the more significant the savings will be. A consortium allows low-volume purchasers to purchase testing services together, minimizing unit costs. It can also combine services and merge bills, so you don’t have to worry about paying multiple fees.

2. Provides Expert Support

A consortium can help owner-operators make the best course of action for drug and alcohol testing regulations, as they can be complex. Making a drug-testing program from scratch can be a challenge. Professional consortium managers can help companies in implementing existing testing programs.

3. Reduces Administrative Responsibilities

Complying with regulations can be a handful. There are many agencies involved, employees to handle, maintenance of the random pool, quality assurance, and recordkeeping. A consortium can help owner-operators and employers by providing all the services in one package. It takes these responsibilities on your behalf, saving you time and effort doing administrative tasks for drug testing.

Joining a drug testing consortium will not only help you comply with DOT and FMCSA regulations but also save money, time, and effort. If you need drug testing services, reach out to Drug Screen Compliance for a reliable drug test in Texas today!

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