Special Edition V.12 (March 2020)
FMCSA Publishes Drug & Alcohol Guidance
March 24, 2020

The FMCSA has published guidance related to drug and alcohol testing. The guidance addresses actions the motor carrier should take in the event they are not able to perform a DOT required test. In some cases, the employer is able to document why the test could not be completed. The guidance can be found here and is summarized below.

You'll note that this guidance does not exempt "prospective employees" from undergoing a pre-employment drug screen prior to performing safety sensitive functions. The guidance does reference existing regulations regarding drivers who have previously participated in a DOT drug testing program. If the prospective employee meets the conditions outlined in the regulations, carriers may be able to utilize this exemption in order to avoid a new pre-employment test. MMTA staff is available to walk you through this process for those carriers who may not be familiar.

Summary of guidance:

  • Random Testing – You are required by 49 CFR 382.305(k) to ensure that the dates for administering random alcohol and controlled substances tests are spread reasonably throughout the calendar year. DOT guidance further recommends that you perform random selections and tests at least quarterly. If, due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 national emergency, you are unable to perform random selections and tests sufficient to meet the random testing rate for a given testing period in order to achieve the required 50% rate for drug testing, and 10% for alcohol testing, you should make up the tests by the end of the year. You should document in writing the specific reasons why you were unable to conduct tests on drivers randomly selected, and any actions taken to locate an alternative collection site or other testing resources.
  • Pre-Employment Testing – If you are unable to conduct a pre-employment controlled substances test, in accordance with 49 CFR 382.301(a), you cannot allow a prospective employee to perform DOT safety sensitive functions until you receive a negative pre-employment test result, unless the exception in 49 CFR 382.301(b) applies.
  • Post-Accident Testing – You are required to test each driver for alcohol and controlled substances as soon as practicable following an accident as required by 49 CFR 382.303. However, if you are unable to administer an alcohol test within 8 hours following the accident, or a controlled substance test within 32 hours following the accident, due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 national emergency, you must document in writing the specific reasons why the test could not be conducted, as currently required. 
  • Reasonable suspicion testing – You should document in writing the specific reasons why the test could not be conducted as required; include any efforts you made to mitigate the effect of the disruption, such as trying to locate an alternative collection site. This documentation should be provided in addition to the documentation of the observations leading to a test, as required by 49 CFR 382.307(f). Follow current regulations addressing situations in which reasonable suspicion testing is not conducted, set forth in 49 CFR 382.307(e)(1), (2).
  • Return-to-duty (RTD) testing – In accordance with 49 CFR 40.305(a), you must not allow the driver to perform any safety-sensitive functions, as defined in 49 CFR 382.107, until the RTD test is conducted and there is a negative result.
  • Follow-up testing - If testing cannot be completed, you should document in writing the specific reasons why the testing could not be conducted as in accordance with the follow-up testing plan; you should include any efforts you made to mitigate the effect of the disruption, such as trying to locate an alternative collection site. You should conduct the test as soon as practicable.

NOTE: Should your normal collection site not be available, MMTA’s Drug and Alcohol Program collection site network offers the following mobile collectors as a potential resource. The cost exceeds our preferred collection site rate, and should be discussed with the collector.

  • Kimberly Eastup Mobile Onsite Drug and Alcohol – Kimberly Eastup – 207-671-2030 (located in Cumberland County)
  • Stonebrook Mobile Testing – Sheri Gee – 207-841-9505 (located in Androscoggin County)
  • OSCS Drug & Alcohol Mobile Testing – Cheryl Mahar – 207-557-7308 (located in Washington County) 
Template for Drivers to Carry
March 25, 2020

A few MMTA members have requested a template of a letter/notice for drivers to carry in their cabs that spells out “Truck Drivers have been designated as essential critical infrastructure workers by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency”. 

Be advised, the use of this or any other similar type letter is NOT required anywhere, but it may come in handy for a driver especially when dealing with law enforcement personnel not overly familiar with industry practices and trying to enforce something like a local “shelter-in-place” declaration. Again, this is not required by any jurisdiction and it is not a “Get of jail free” type card either. 

Click on this link to access a template that MMTA has developed – it does not have any logo for widest use by our members. Please remember that this is just an explanation of the industry’s status under the CISA guidance and Maine’s adoption of that guidance under yesterday’s Executive Order. Keep in mind also, the CISA Guidance is not law so, as best they can, companies and drivers need to work together to keep their drivers aware of the rules, regulations, declarations of jurisdictions in which the vehicle will be traveling.
TODAY Show Highlights Trucking's Critical Role (click on video)
March 24, 2020
Postal Service, UPS, FedEx and Amazon Look to Protect Customers, Employees
Transport Topics

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the U.S., more people are relying on the mail and delivery services to provide them food, medicine and household items.

At a time people are social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19, could you contract the virus from deliveries to your home? And are steps being taken to protect the U.S. Postal Service and shipping carrier employees who are staffing massive warehouses and making those deliveries? Read full story...
Aroostook County Members – Offer to Help Truck Drivers
March 25, 2020

MMTA has been contacted by Beth Huff, who is a Houlton resident and someone who has expressed concern for the safety of our truck drivers. She is willing to go to local stores for any driver who is in need of hand sanitizer or wipes and provide those supplies locally. If you are in the County or you know of a driver based in the Houlton area who might need these necessities, please reach out to Beth directly at anb04020@gmail.com.  
Update on MMTA Office & Staffing
March 25, 2020

In light of yesterday’s Executive Order regarding essential businesses and operations in Maine, we wanted to update MMTA members on our staffing and availability.  

  • We have gone to a staggered schedule for our trailer registrations operations. We still have the ability to register trailers and we have plenty of plates on hand to process orders – we were able to get to BMV when they announced their closing to pick up a sizeable inventory of plates.
  • Brian, Tim, Randy, Cecile and Bill are working at the office as normal. In the event we close down the MMTA office, these five will be working from home with access to email.
  • The Workers’ Comp. Trust office is staffed, payments are being made, premiums collected and claims are being managed as usual. Tammy and Brianna are staggering schedules and might be working from home in the near future. If you need to contact them, email is best.

As always, we are here to inform our members and help in any way that we can. As you have seen in the past few weeks, we have been communicating by this Constant Contact e-newsletter whenever we have information about the emergency that needs to be shared. If you have any suggestions on ways we can improve our communications, please let us know.
National Fraternal Order of Police urge governments to not impede trucks in COVID-19 response
March 23, 2020

The National Fraternal Order of Police have written to President Trump to offer their support for the essentiality of the trucking industry and our role in this national emergency.  Click here for the full letter.
We will keep MMTA members posted as new information comes in. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to email Tim, Randy or Brian if you have questions.