ATA calls truck driver drug use study ‘inaccurate and sensationalized’

| October 29, 2013

marijuanaThe American Trucking Associations Monday pointedly took aim at a recently released study from the Universidade Estudual de Londrina in Brazil — which suggested that drug and alcohol use among truck drivers worldwide is not uncommon — by calling its findings “inaccurate,” adding that reports form U.S. media outlets about the study are “sensationalized.” 


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The study, which presents severely varying degrees of drug and alcohol use by truck drivers from country to country, says that about 30 percent of drivers worldwide admitted to using amphetamines, 20 percent to marijuana and 3 percent to cocaine. 

ATA said in its rebuttal that the study’s “findings were based on self-reporting and limited biological testing of drivers from Latin America, Australia and (allegedly) the United States. The results stand in stark contrast to the ongoing data collected by U.S. authorities based on biological testing” of U.S. truck drivers. 

Bill Graves, president and CEO of ATA, said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s data from 2011 showed drug use rates of truck drivers in the U.S. to be lower than 1 percent (0.9 percent), and data from 2008 showed alcohol violation rate to be even lower than that, 0.19 percent,  he said. 


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ATA Chairman Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express, said the media outlets that published the story did not check it for accuracy and said the study is “disrespectful” to truck drivers. 

“I can think of nothing more disrespectful than being tarred as a drug user or drunk driver based on inaccurate reporting and a specious study,” Byrd said. “The outlets that ran with this story, and did not try to verify its accuracy with U.S. data, owe the millions of safe, dedicated drivers that deliver America’s most essential goods every day a sincere apology.”

  • guest

    Cmon….we are not a 3rd world country with no laws…a driver would have to be pretty Stupid to be on DOPE and driving into weigh stations??? The study is rediclous….

  • guest

    WHY would a driver take “amphetamines”in TODAYS trucking?? he is likely on electo logs with Satelite monitoring?? What would be the purpose?? WEED would be ignorant and Booze out of the question coz wecan be pulled over at any time for Roadside inspection…plus weigh stations have CAMERAS that stare you in the FACE as we get on the Scales…..Yesteryear maybe..Today…a guy would have to be really ignorant…it is such a NON ISSUE..I dont remember even suspecting a guy at any Truck Stop was jacked up in the past 20 years….the % in America TODAY has got to be low…unless its NEW GUYS who are not aware how quickly you can end up in JAIL doing that….certainly a Dumb Idea…

  • MercenaryMan

    This is hype, Truckers arent using drugs these days, outside of coffee and Five Hour Energy drinks, I get drug tested at least three times a year, and that doesnt include any randoms that you may be asked to take at a scalehouse….this is a waste of space, BUT watch the FMCSA they will start an entire new dept, called the ANTI BEER AND DRUG POLICY … wont be able to go home or be off duty and have a beer…..ridiculous !!!

  • g

    Weed…Pills??? reminds me of the days of the ORANGE BALL…every night was a Partay!!! Anything you want was advertized openly 3 miles Before you pulled into the place you would here the ya knew you were getting near if you didnt know the location…..funny times….

  • cracker head

    what yall think the american chicken haulers association is,..bunch of half crazed meth heads on high speed chicken feed…mostly O/O with no pre employment piss test

  • lastgoodusername

    i find it hard to believe that the ATA thinks anything is disrespectful to the professional driver. this articles cites a study that says drug use among us pill popping cowboys to be less than 1 percent , yet they are pushing for hair testing to become the standard. more money to spend on new technology to provide the same old results. sad , very , very sad.

  • All Knowin

    it is all hype and hair testing is nothing more than invasion of privacy . what i do ON MY TIME is MY BIZ. what i do behind the wheel of a truck is the FMCA and DOT biz. they talk about safety as it’s a magical word to get regs passed. They need to change the testing method alright goto mouth swab tests and conduct them with a level 1 inspection. thats truly random and not invasive ,besides isnt the issue to prevent people under the influence from driving ? and penalize them for what they do at home ? I thought i lived in the United States of America not China or North Korea. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.