What are the DOT Random Drug Testing Rates?

2016 DOT FMCSA Random Testing Rates

The following chart outlines the Annual minimum drug and alcohol random testing rates established within DOT Agencies.
DOT Agency
Random Drug Testing Rate
Random Alcohol Testing Rate
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admin [FMCSA]



How often should selections and tests take place?

What makes random testing so effective is the element of surprise. While employees know they will be tested, they are never quite sure of when, so random selections and testing should be performed at least quarterly. Some employers are selecting and testing more frequently.

Note: If you think you might not meet your annual testing rate requirement, increase your testing. But, in an effective random program, testing must be spread equally throughout the year.

Best practices: Here are smart things you can do to figure out when to test:

  • Spread testing dates reasonably throughout the year in a non-predictable pattern.
  • Conduct random drug tests anytime employees are on duty or while performing safety-sensitive duties. See your Agency regulations for your specific industry requirements of when to conduct testing.
  • Conduct random alcohol tests just before, during, or just after the employee performs a safety-sensitive job, as described in your industry specific regulations.
  • Each workday or weekend, you can enhance the non-predictability of your program by conducting tests at the start, middle, or end of each shift.
  • You must maintain all your testing records in accordance with industry specific regulations.

How long must I keep records: Depends on the type of transportation industry in which you are operating. Most DOT agencies have similar requirements, but please see the charts below for a break-down of agency-specific requirements:

FMCSA Requirements:

1 Year: Negative drug test results. Alcohol test results less than 0.02.

2 Years: Records related to the alcohol and drug collection process.

3 Years: Previous employer records.

5 Years: Annual MIS reports
Employee evaluation and referrals to SAPs.
Follow-up tests and follow-up schedules.
Refusals to test.
Alcohol test results 0.02 or greater.
Verified positive drug test results.
EBT calibration documentation.

Indefinite period: Education and Training records, plus two years after ceasing to perform functions.

Do I have to keep paper files: Yes. Employers may also keep electronic records for their own purposes, but DOT requires that paper records be kept. Not only does this help answer questions that arise regarding specific documents, such as the federal custody and control form, but the practice facilitates work by inspectors, who have found many companies reluctant to allow them access to their computer systems.

Click Here for DOT Random Drug Testing Guide

Click Here for DOT Record Keeping Guide