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DOT Will Ask Congress To Repeal Pre-Employment Testing Law


April 1995

Transportation Secretary Federico Pena announced he will ask Congress to repeal laws requiring pre-employment alcohol testing ("DOT Seeks End to Mandated Pre-Employment Testing," Drug Detection Report, Mar. 21, 1995, p. 1; "Advocates Press To Preserve DOT Alcohol Testing Regulations," National Report on Substance Abuse, May 11, 1995, p. 1).

Pena said that random drug and alcohol testing of public drivers is effective in maintaining public safety. Employers should be able to test prospective employees, he said, but required random testing of applicants is unnecessary.

Pre-employment alcohol testing went into effect on Jan. 1, 1995 for the transit, aviation, and rail industries under the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991. The pre-employment testing requirement for the trucking industry was postponed until May 1, 1995 because of the difficulty businesses had in complying with the regulations.

Pena's announcement was applauded by a number of transportation and safety groups, including the American Trucking Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace.

A grassroots coalition is fighting to preserve pre-employment alcohol testing. "For an alcoholic, a pre-employment test is not an I.Q. test, but an objective means of seeing through the denial and craving associated with the diesaese," said Gregg Fresonke of U.S. Alcohol Testing in Los Angeles.

[For more information, contact the U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590, 202-366-4000; The American Trucking Association, 2200 Mill Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, 703-838-1800; Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace, 1301 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005, 202-842-7400; U.S. Alcohol Testing, 10410 Trademark Street, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730, 909-466-TEST.]