FMCSA Publishes Proposed Drug and Alcohol Rule

Trucking OR Drugs. Not Both.

The FMCSA today published the agency’s proposed drug and alcohol clearinghouse rule that would establish a database called the “Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.”

The FMCSA says the Clearinghouse would be formed for “reporting of verified positive, adulterated, and substituted drug test results, positive alcohol test results, test refusals, negative return-to-duty test results and information on follow-up testing.”

In addition, the Clearinghouse rule would require employers to report knowledge of traffic citations for driving a CMV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

This rule would create a central database for verified positive drug and alcohol test results for CDL holders.  In addition, it would include the names of drivers who have refused to submit to testing.  The rule will require carriers to report positive test results and refusals to the database.

Current regulations require employers to conduct pre-employement drug and alcohol screening, however, there’s not been a single system to record positive test results.

The proposed rule would create a central system for potential employers to report positive test results.

“We are leveraging technology to create a one-stop verification point to help companies hire drug and alcohol-free drivers,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “This proposal moves us further down the road toward improving safety for truck and bus companies, commercial drivers and the motoring public everywhere.”

Under the proposed rule, FMCSA-regulated carriers, Medical Review Officers, substance abuse professional, private and third-party USDOT labs would be required to record information about a driver who:

  • Fails a drug and/or alcohol test;
  • Refuses to submit to a drug and/or alcohol test; and
  • Successfully completes a substance abuse program and is legally qualified to return to duty.

In addition, third-party DOT testing centers would be required to submit an annual report, which will help the FMCSA identify which companies do not have a testing program.

Carriers will be required to obtain a driver’s permission to access his or her records.  Should a driver refuse to provide permission, he or she will not be allowed to operate a CMV.

Follow this link to read the proposed rule in its entirety.