Last week, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released proposed regulations that would create a national database of commercial driver drug and alcohol test results. The clearinghouse would be accessible by motor carriers during the hiring process for new drivers. In fact, carriers would be required to use the database prior to hiring positions requiring a commercial driver’s license.
The clearinghouse would include all alcohol and drug testing results, including driver refusals to test. Carriers are already required to provide summaries of testing results to DOT. In addition to new hires, carriers would be required to check the database annually for existing employees. The creation of the clearinghouse and motor carriers’ obligations to consult its database are the result of requirements contained in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, signed into law in 2012.
The new law is intended to avoid situations where driver applicants fail to disclose prior positive tests during the application process. It will also allow employers to determine if a current employee tests positive in a test administered by a second employer. Finally, the new rule requires all testing laboratories to inform FMCSA of the motor carriers for whom they have performed testing services, allowing the agency to determine if a carrier is not conducting such required tests.
FMCSA is accepting comments on the proposed rules through April 21.