The new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse monthly report for May has been released, and employers are wondering why so many of their commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders are testing positive on drug and alcohol tests. There is a clear increase in positive test results, drug test refusals, and knowledge of drug violations since Clearinghouse began on September 28, 2019. Employers are concerned that employees may be driving under the influence and want to know how to keep them safe.
Here is why there is an increase in drug and alcohol violations and how to combat it to make sure your commercial drivers are safe.
Clearinghouse Monthly Report Summary
As of June 1, 2021, the total number of CDL holders registered with Clearinghouse is 2,051,946 drivers. From January to December 2020, there were 54,706 drug violations and 1,185 alcohol violations of drivers reported to Clearinghouse, including positive drug tests, drug test refusals, and actual knowledge of a drug violation. However, within the first three months of 2021, there were 14,324 drug violations and 367 alcohol violations reported. At that rate, there will be more violations during 2021 than in 2020.
From January 6, 2020, to January 6, 2021, over half of the total positive drug tests (80,098) involved Marijuana Metabolite (42,534); the second most recorded drug detected was Cocaine Metabolite (11,297).
Why the Increase?
Although marijuana is a Schedule I drug at the federal level, medical marijuana use is legalized in 37 states, and recreational marijuana is legalized in 18 states and Washington D.C. New Mexico, Virginia, and South Dakota passed legalization recently, and the laws took effect in late June and early July 2021. With the rising increase of legalized and decriminalized marijuana, the general use has also increased, along with the rise in positive drug tests in commercial drivers. Although it may seem bad that more people are testing positive, it is beneficial that they are being tested and pulled off the road for their safety.
Even though marijuana legalization is on the rise, the dangers of driving under the influence have stayed the same. Employers should continue testing their employees, especially if they are commercial drivers because their safety comes first. Although CBD is not a controlled substance, it could impair a driver. If you suspect your employee to be under the influence of marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, or any other drug, get them tested to ensure they are not at risk of harming themselves or others.
Additionally, employers can’t always keep a close eye on their employees while they are on the road, so spontaneous and periodic testing is also advised. ClearStar has the most extensive drug test collection site network with over 9,000 locations nationally and is fully equipped to administer any drug test.
How Can ClearStar Help?
When it comes to making sure your employees are FMCSA/DOT-compliant, ClearStar uses all of our resources to check up on them. During pre-employment, ClearStar has full DOT support—including access to the Clearinghouse database—and a web-based management system that assists with carrying out a potential employee’s background check. With our resources, not only can we perform extensive background checks on potential employees, but we can also alert an employer of any past DOT violations, DUIs, and drug/alcohol test results.
Again, we have the largest drug test collection site network with 9,000+ locations nationally and offer extensive drug tests, vaccinations, titers, physicals, and other services. We work with Abbott, LabCorp, and Quest to provide the best drug testing services and provide a mobile wallet pass with built-in reminders for LabCorp and Quest. For the peace of mind of employers, we offer real-time collection status updates for drug tests to ensure they know exactly what the status is on a drug test.
To place an order for a COVID-19 test or a drug test, contact the ClearStar Medical Information Services office at 321.821.3383 or [email protected]. To ask about background checks and other medical screening services, call 888.982.4648. To read more about our transportation services, visit https://www.clearstar.net/transportation/.