FMCSA Proposes Drug/Alcohol Clearinghouse for Drivers

Under the newly proposed rule, employers would have to check the clearinghouse before hiring new workers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed a new rule that would create a drug and alcohol clearinghouse for everyone who holds a commercial driver’s license. According to a press release from DOT, the clearinghouse would require employers to check the drug/alcohol testing history of applicants before hiring them, which would in turn make it easier to determine if a truck or bus driver shouldn’t be on the road. The clearinghouse would also require employers to check on their current drivers annually.

According to the press release, current regulations require a pre-screening of an applicant’s driver record, however there is no repository in place that would allow employers to check the drug and alcohol history of potential employees. The clearinghouse would allow employers to see if applicants had failed a drug or alcohol test in the past.

The proposed rule would also require medical review officers, substance abuse professionals, FMCSA regulated bus and truck companies, and third party USDOT testing laboratories to report drivers who fail a drug or alcohol test, refuse to submit to a drug or alcohol test and successfully complete a substance abuse program and can legally return to duty.

According to the press release, “drivers who refuse to provide this information could still be employed by the truck or bus company; however, they could not occupy safety-sensitive positions, such as operating a commercial motor vehicle.” The proposed rule was directed by Congress in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. 

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