AMSA favors mandatory drug testing guidelines

In comments submitted to the Dept. of Health and Human Services, the American Moving and Storage Assn. has come out strongly in favor of mandatory drug testing guidelines for truck drivers, to prevent the potential for tampering with required urine drug tests. "As operators of commercial motor vehicles on public highways, AMSA’s members recognize the responsibility they shoulder to ensure that they

In comments submitted to the Dept. of Health and Human Services, the American Moving and Storage Assn. has come out strongly in favor of mandatory drug testing guidelines for truck drivers, to prevent the potential for tampering with required urine drug tests.

"As operators of commercial motor vehicles on public highways, AMSA’s members recognize the responsibility they shoulder to ensure that they hire and contract with drivers who satisfy prescribed physical qualifications,” said Joseph M. Harrison, the lobbying group’s president.

Harrison said it is vital that the initial and periodic drug and alcohol tests required of truck drivers are not compromised. He added that commercial vehicle drivers are subject to pre-employment, random, post-accident, and return-to-duty testing to insure their quality and competence to operate on public highways.

Examples of tampering are varied, Harrison noted. Drivers may attempt to adulterate a specimen by adding to the urine a chemical substance designed to mask or destroy the drug or drug metabolite that the specimen is thought to contain, or the assay reagent used to identify a drug or drug metabolite. Sometimes drivers simply substitute a suspect specimen with a sample thought to be drug-free, he said.

"The proposal to adopt uniform validation standards when urine specimens are collected addresses a concern shared by many motor carriers and is one that AMSA welcomes," Harrison said. "We enthusiastically support the proposal that all urine samples collected pursuant to a federal workplace drug testing program be subjected to validity testing, and handled in a uniform, prescribed and predictable manner."

AMSA, based in Alexandria, VA, represents van lines and other carriers involved in the moving industry.

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