Starting in 2020, employers regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) were mandated to comply with the new FMCSA Clearinghouse guidelines. The new rule required regulated employers, medical review officers, substance abuse professionals, third-party administrators, and other service agents to report information related to violations of drug and alcohol testing regulations by current and prospective employees.
Employers must query the Clearinghouse for current and prospective employees’ drug and alcohol program violations before permitting those employees to operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) on public roads. Employers are also required to query the Clearinghouse annually for each driver they currently employ.
With safety in mind, the overall intent for the Clearinghouse is to provide FMCSA and employers the necessary tools to identify drivers who are prohibited from operating a CMV based on DOT drug and alcohol program violations and ensure those drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before operating a CMV on public roads.
The December 2020 FMCSA Monthly Summary report revealed cumulative data that was reported into the Clearinghouse for calendar year 2020. Below you’ll find some of the highlighted data that was reported and collected for the Clearinghouse’s first year of existence:
- Total number of registered FMCSA regulated employers – 182,124
- Total pre-employment queries (full) performed – 1,429,842
- Total limited queries performed – 2,701,763
- Total number of drug violations – 54,955
- Total number of alcohol violations – 1,203
- Positive drug tests accounted for 82% of the violations
- Marijuana accounted for 53% of the drug violations
- Number of drivers with a Return to Duty prohibited status based on prior violations – 45,475
- Number of drivers with a Return to Duty not-prohibited status with a negative test on file – 6,513
There were undoubtedly bumps in the road, but these numbers represent real-time information employers may access to make more informed hiring and assignment decisions. And while it’s still too early to measure the total impact of the Clearinghouse, as more drug and alcohol testing violation data is entered, it’s easy to see how the Clearinghouse will become an even more valuable tool in achieving its overall purpose: keeping our public roadways safe. This is for the record.
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