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Bill to Tighten Drug Testing in California Dies in Committee

June 28, 2000

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A bill that would have made it harder for truckers that test positive for drugs to keep working failed to generate enough votes to pass a key committee in the California state Senate.

The bill, AB 1531, was sponsored by the California Trucking Assn. and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. It would prevent drivers who test positive from continuing to work behind the wheel until they have successfully completed a rehabilitation program.
Trucking companies say the current system is easy to beat. Employers can only check the information new drivers provide. If they lost a previous job due to a positive drug test, it's easy to just leave that company off of the employment history.
"More than 125 Californians have been killed in DUI truck-involved accidents in the last 10 years," says Warren Hoemann, CTA vice president. "Four people were killed in the state last month. This is CTA's third effort to pass a loophole-closing bill, and each time we fail, more lives will be lost on the highways."
Despite an amendment to the bill that would exempt union workers with union contracts, representatives from the Teamsters union and the United Transportation Workers fought the bill.
CTA says it will try again next year.

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