FMCSA is implementing a new Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse to try to keep the country’s road safer by keeping CDL drivers with dangerous driving histories off the road. Beginning in January of 2020, anyone who employs CDL drivers and the drivers themselves will be required to use the clearinghouse.
Currently, if a CDL holder fails a drug or alcohol test, or refuses one, they can simply move to another state and drive there. This means that these drivers who have already proven to be a risk can simply continue driving without further repercussions. The clearinghouse will be a central database that will track information across states, making it harder for these drivers to find new work. The information will be in real-time, so that any drivers who commit these violations will not be able to get back behind the wheel until they have completed all the required steps to return to work safely.
Starting in the fall of 2019, employers can register with the clearinghouse and create accounts to access it. Then when the website launches in January 2020, use of the clearinghouse will be mandatory. They will use it to report information about driver drug and alcohol violations, and they will also be able to query that information. During the first 3 years of the website’s implementation, employers can request testing history from previous employers, but after January of 2023, all of that information will be directly available in the clearinghouse.
How Does it Affect?
This clearinghouse will include information for anyone who drives CMVs on public roads, including transports, bus drivers, equipment operators, limousine drivers, and anyone else who is subject to FMCSA drug and alcohol testing. Employers will be required to both provide information to the clearinghouse, and to query it for any possibly new hires.