CDL drug and alcohol clearinghouse reg clears White House

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | Tuesday, November 01, 2016

The drug and alcohol clearinghouse final rule holders cleared the White House Office of Management and Budget on Monday, Oct. 31.

The final rule is not yet public, so details on the drug and alcohol clearinghouse, beyond what the agency distributes in an abstract, are not available.

The rulemaking, according to the agency abstract, would create a central database for verified positive controlled substances and alcohol test results for CDL holders and refusals by such drivers to submit to testing. Employers of CDL holders and service agents would be required to report positive test results and refusals into the clearinghouse.

Prospective employers, acting on an application for a CDL driver position with the applicant’s written consent, would check the clearinghouse before allowing the applicant to be hired and to drive a commercial motor vehicle.

Proponents of the rulemaking say it would 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 a truck. It is also intended to ensure that employers are meeting their drug and alcohol testing responsibilities.

FMCSA originally proposed the rule in February 2014, and OMB received the final rule in May of this year.

The final rule is projected to be published in the Federal Register in about a week.

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