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USCG cuts random drug test rate for crew members

Written by Nick Blenkey

CGHQlogoJANUARY 22, 2013 — The U.S. Coast Guard announced today that it has submitted a notice of minimum random drug testing rate to the Federal Register.

The Coast Guard has set the calendar year 2013 minimum drug testing rate at 25 percent of covered crew members. The minimum drug testing rate is effective January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013.

In accordance with 46 CFR 16.230(f)(2), the Commandant has the authority to lower the minimum drug testing rates following two consecutive years of positive random testing rates fewer than 1 percent, and he is exercising that option with the 2013 rates. The minimum drug testing rate in 2012 was 50 percent.

The purpose of setting a minimum random drug testing rate is to assist the Coast Guard in analyzing its current approach for deterring and detecting illegal drug abuse in the maritime industry and to encourage employers to maintain a drug-free workplace with the incentive of a reduced testing rate (and associated reduced costs).

The Coast Guard will continue to monitor both the rate of positive drug tests and the quality testing data submitted. If the positive drug test rate rises above 1 percent, or if the Coast Guard cannot determine the positive rate based on the quality of the data submitted, then the Commandant may return the minimum drug testing rate to 50 percent.

The Notice may be reviewed at www.federalregister.gov. Search for Docket No. USCG-2009-0973.

For more information about this rule, contact Robert Schoening, Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters at (202) 372-1033 or email [email protected]

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