The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently published a final rule that establishes a drug and alcohol clearinghouse for the holders of a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). The Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will serve as a central repository for records of violations of the FMCSA drug and alcohol testing program by CDL holders. Compliance with the Clearinghouse rules will be required as of January 6, 2020. The rule is designed to identify the drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) who are ineligible to operate a CMV because of a drug or alcohol violation.
Employers and medical review officers will be required to report positive drug test results, alcohol test results greater than 0.04 blood alcohol content, refusals to test and other non-test violations to the Clearinghouse. Current return to duty rules require the completion of a rehabilitation program that complies with federal guidelines and a drug/alcohol retest following a violation that would prohibit safety-sensitive functions. The new rule will also require that substance abuse professionals report information about drivers undergoing the return-to-duty drug and alcohol rehabilitation process. Finally, employers will be required to search with the Clearinghouse during the pre-employment process with potential new hires and on an annual basis with current employees to prevent operation of a CMV by an individual that is prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions.
The purpose of this new rule is to improve roadway safety. The Clearinghouse is intended to prevent the concealment of drug and alcohol violations by moving to a different job or jurisdiction. For more information, the rule's full text can be reviewed at https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2016-27398.pdf .