FMCSA Establishes Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse for Commercial Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) has recently announced it will be establishing the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, a new database that will include information related to violations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and its controlled substances and alcohol testing program.

Currently, the Clearinghouse rule requires FMCSA-regulated employers, Medical Review Officers (MROs), Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs), consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPA), and other service agents to report to the Clearinghouse information that’s notable in violations of the drug and alcohol regulations. These are specific to regulations in 49 Code of Federal Regulations, parts 40 and 382 by prospective employees as well as current employees.

What’s Required and What’s Expected

The main issue with the Clearinghouse is that it’s trying to help trucking companies be prevented from hiring employees who have been prohibited in the past or are currently prohibited from operating a commercial vehicle based on DOT drug and alcohol program violations. If trucking companies violate these terms and regulations it can spell trouble for them legally and in business.

That’s why having a commercial truck insurance plan in place to protect against liabilities, such as hiring employees with checkered pasts, is vital to keep operations running smoothly and above board.

Pre-Employment Checks

Companies will have to check in with the Clearinghouse for all new hires to see if they have any drug and alcohol violations that keep them from performing safety-sensitive functions. This means that the driver in question must be registered with the Clearinghouse as well.

The Clearinghouse will make sure to provide FMCSA and employers the important tools to identify drivers who are prohibited from operating these vehicles, so as to avoid this kind of issue. Having a prohibited driver hired on can create not only conflicts from a regulatory standpoint but can also create a number of risks for the road, putting the safety and overall well-being of others out there in the driver’s hands.

The Clearinghouse will also help to ensure that drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before operating a CMV on public roads. More specifically, information maintained in the Clearinghouse will enable employers in the trucking industry to spot drivers who commit a drug or alcohol program violation while working for one employer, but who fail to inform another employer (such as a contractor would).

Records related to any drug and alcohol program violations will be kept in the Clearinghouse for five years, or until the driver in question has completed the return-to-duty process.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.