FMCSA on verge of proposing drug, alcohol test result database

By Jami Jones, Land Line managing editor | 1/28/2014

Yet another database of driver records is in the works at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This one involves the results of drug and alcohol tests of commercial motor vehicle drivers.

The proposed Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rulemaking cleared the White House’s Office of Management and Budget on Monday, Jan. 27.

According to an abstract of the proposal, the rulemaking would create a central database for verified positive drug and alcohol test results of CDL holders and refusals by drivers to submit to testing.

The rulemaking proposes to require employers and service agents to report positive test results and refusals to test into the Clearinghouse. Prospective employers, with an applicant’s written consent, would also be required to check the Clearinghouse before allowing the applicant to be hired.

FMCSA officials say the rulemaking is intended to increase highway safety by ensuring that CDL holders, who have tested positive or have refused to submit to testing, have completed the return-to-duty process before driving CMVs in interstate or intrastate commerce. It is also intended to ensure that employers are meeting their drug and alcohol testing responsibilities.

Additional details will become available once FMCSA publishes the proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register. The agency projected that the proposal would publish in the Federal Register 14 days after clearing OMB – putting the public reveal around Feb. 10.

Once published, the agency will accept comments on the proposal.

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