The governor of Arizona signed a law on May 7, 2013 requiring drug testing and criminal background checks for all drivers of livery vehicles, taxis and limousines. The law requires those who own or lease such vehicles to conduct pre-employment drug testing and criminal background checks on applicants for such driving positions. After hire, drivers must be subjected to annual random drug testing. Employers must make criminal background records and drug test results available for inspection by the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures. The law is expected to take effect later this year.
The new law appears to require annual unannounced testing of all drivers, even though it is characterized as “random” testing. Random testing means that names are selected at random and that everyone in the selection pool has an equal chance of being selected each time a selection is made. When drug testing is truly random, there is no way to guarantee that an employee’s name will be selected at any time, let alone once a year. More importantly, the law does not require employers to refuse to hire applicants who test positive, and does not require employers to fire those drivers who test positive on their annual drug tests, although the expectation appears to be that individuals who test positive should not be permitted to drive. The law also is silent as to which drugs must be tested.
According to a statement released by the governor’s office, there were 6,449 transportation “for hire” vehicles licensed to operate in Arizona in 2012, and an estimated 13,000 taxi, livery and limousine drivers throughout the state.