FMCSA: 8000 violations discovered in first few weeks of federal drug & alcohol database

FMCSA says they've seen "encouraging results" so far with the new Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that their new online drug and alcohol database has identified thousands of violations in the first few weeks of operation.

On February 21, FMCSA released a statement highlighting the data collected since the FMCSA’s Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse rule went into effect on January 6, 2020.

FMCSA says that almost 8000 positive substance abuse tests have been detected and identified in the first few weeks of operation of the Clearinghouse.

According to FMCSA, there are currently approximately 650,000 Clearinghouse registrants.

“We’ve seen encouraging results from the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, but there’s still work to do to ensure we identify more drivers who should not be behind the wheel. The clearinghouse is a positive step, and the Agency continues to work closely with industry, law enforcement, and our state partners to ensure its implementation is effective,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen.  

The Clearinghouse is intended to improve highway safety by giving law enforcement, employers, and other authorities real-time access to a CDL holder’s drug and alcohol records.

Those who are required to register with the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse include drivers who respond to employer consent requests or would like to view their clearinghouse record when applying for a job, substance abuse professionals, and employers of CDL or Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) workers.

While truck drivers were not required to immediately register with the Clearinghouse by the January 6 deadline, they must be registered in order to respond to an employer’s request for consent prior to a pre-employment query or other full query being conducted.

Employers must register with the Clearinghouse within the first year of implementation in order to complete a required annual query of the database on all truck driver employees.

At nearly the same time that the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse rule went into effect, the FMCSA also announced that they would be doubling the number of random drug tests that will be administered to CDL holders from 25% to 50% as of January 1, 2020.

To register with the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse or to obtain more information, please click here.