The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released information gathered from its Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse in late February. The data indicated that the Clearinghouse had detected and recognized nearly 8,000 positive substance abuse tests of commercial drivers since it became operational in January, according to a news release from the FMCSA.
The Clearinghouse provides FMCSA along with employers the tools needed to detect drivers who have disregarded the requirements for federal drug and alcohol testing and are restricted from operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV). The objective of the Clearinghouse is to guarantee drivers get the necessary evaluation and treatment before they continue driving. According to the FMCSA, those required to enroll in the Clearinghouse include:
- Employers of commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders, or their designated service agents, and medical review officers who report drug and alcohol program violations that occurred on or after January 6, 2020
- Employers or their designated service agents who lead required queries which inform them whether prospective or current employees have drug and alcohol program violations in their Clearinghouse records. Employers must purchase a query plan before doing queries in the Clearinghouse – query plans must be obtained from the FMCSA Clearinghouse website only
- Drivers who respond to employer consent requests or would like to view their Clearinghouse record when applying for a job
- Substance abuse professionals who report on the completion of initial driver assessments and driver eligibility for return-to-duty testing for violations committed on or after January 6, 2020.
Commercial drivers are not required to register for the Clearinghouse immediately; however, they will need to join in order to respond to an employer’s request for consent before a pre-employment query or other full query conducted. Employers enroll during the first year of implementation to guarantee they can lead required yearly inquiries on employed drivers. There is no cost to enroll.
The Clearinghouse is an online database that enables FMCSA, employers of CDL drivers, State Driver Licensing Agencies, and law enforcement officials to recognize CDL drivers who have violated federal drug and alcohol testing program requirements. As of February, the Clearinghouse has more than 650,000 registrants.
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