FMCSA PUBLISHES PROPOSED RULE ESTABLISHING DRUG/ALCOHOL DATABASE

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to establish a national clearinghouse for all commercial motor vehicle drivers’ drug and alcohol test results.

The purpose of the clearinghouse is to help improve roadway safety by making it easier to determine whether a truck or bus driver is prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle because he or she failed to comply with federal drug and alcohol regulations, including mandatory testing. Current federal regulations require employers to conduct mandatory pre-employment screening of a commercial driver’s qualifications based on his or her driving record. The proposed ruling would require employers to search the database to ensure that the driver is able to perform safety-sensitive duties. This applies to all new CDL drivers and annual searches on current drivers. Under the proposed rule, FMCSA-regulated truck and bus companies, Medical Review Officers, Substance Abuse Professionals and private, third-party USDOT drug and alcohol testing laboratories would be required to record information about a driver who fails a drug and/or alcohol test, refuses to submit to a test and successfully completes a substance abuse program making him or her legally qualified to return to duty.

The NPRM is published in the Federal Register. Comments are being accepted by using Docket number FMCSA-2010-0031 at the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Comments must be submitted within 60 days of the February 12, 2014 publication date.

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