When truck drivers apply for a job, they are generally given urine drug tests to evaluate whether they have used any illegal narcotics recently. These drug tests, however, are not sufficient, according to trucking advocates at the American Trucking Association (ATA). And their president and CEO, Bill Graves, recently sent a letter to Congress:
- Pointing out the deficiencies of urine drug tests for truck drivers
- Urging lawmakers to pass legislation that would allow for hair drug testing in place of urine drug testing for drivers (as right now, urine testing is the only mandatory testing).
Why the Push for Hair Drug Tests for Truckers?
The reason that hair drug testing for truck drivers should be allowed, the ATA has explained, is that urine testing cannot accurately identify when drivers may have a more extensive history of drug use. That’s because, while urine drug tests can only determine whether someone has used certain drugs over the past 30 or so days, hair drug tests can go back as far as 90 days (and sometimes even more).
As ATA CEO Bill Graves explained in his letter:
[The] reason for using hair testing is laudable. Hair testing is an effective tool for identifying drug users due its long detection window and because it is difficult for donors to beat the test… Regrettably, the redundant cost of conducting both DOT urine tests and hair tests has deterred many fleets from adopting hair testing programs. Having hair testing as an accepted federal method of testing would give all fleets the option to do so, absent the need to conduct costly, redundant, urine tests.
The Push Back: The Trucking Industry & Unions Weigh In
Not everyone is on board with allowing hair drug tests in place of urine testing for truck drivers. In fact, the biggest opposition has come from the trucking industry and labor unions, both of which contend that allowing hair drug testing could create some inherent biases against certain drivers.
In particular, the concern is that people who have been exposed to drugs – but have not necessarily used them – along with those who have more melatonin in their hair, could have false positives on hair drug tests, putting them at a remarkable and potentially illegal disadvantage during the hiring process (and beyond).
As lawmakers continue to review this issue and work on making a decision, we want to hear from you. Tell us where you stand on this issue on Facebook & Google+.
Contacting a Denver Truck Accident Lawyer at Cederberg Law
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident – or if you have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, contact a Denver truck accident lawyer at Cederberg Law to find out more about your best options for financial recovery.
To meet with us at no cost or obligation to you, call us at 303-499-0449 or email us using the form at the side of the screen.
In addition to offering free initial consults and contingency fee options, our lawyers make hospital visits to ensure that you have access to the legal support you need – whenever you need it.