As part of its continued efforts to promote and improve public safety, the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed a national drug and alcohol testing clearinghouse for all commercial truck and bus drivers on February 12, 2014. The proposal was part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. The clearinghouse aims to help identify safety sensitive bus or truck drivers that are in violation of the federal drug and alcohol testing regulations. According to the FMCSA,
“Current federal regulations require employers to conduct mandatory pre-employment screening of a CDL driver’s qualifications based upon his or her driving record. However, there has not been a single federal repository recording positive drug and alcohol tests by CDL holders that employers would be able to search to ensure that the driver is able to perform safety-sensitive duties.”
If passed, the rule would require employers to conduct pre-employment searches for new CDL drivers and annual searches for current drivers in the established database. For protection of privacy, CDL holders will have to provide consent before and employer can search the clearinghouse for his/her information. However, consent would be a requirement in order to occupy a safety-sensitive position.
The rule would also require FMCSA-regulated truck and bus companies, Medical Review Officers, Substance Abuse Professionals, and private, third party USDOT drug and alcohol testing laboratories to report to the clearinghouse information about an employee that has refused to take or has failed a DOT mandated drug or alcohol test, and information about those employees that have successfully completed the DOT Return-To-Duty process and are legally qualified to return to safety-sensitive duties.
Companies without a testing a program will also be identified as private, third-party USDOT drug and alcohol testing laboratories will be required to submit annual summary reports.
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