The Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) Commercial Driver License (CDL) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) database contains real-time information pertaining to violations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) controlled substances and alcohol testing program for CDL operators.
The Clearinghouse is a federal database requiring information related to violations of the drug and alcohol regulations in 49 Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 40 and 382 be reported by current and prospective employers.
The Clearinghouse final rule requires the following:
- Employers must query the Clearinghouse for current and prospective employees’ drug and alcohol violations before permitting those employees to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on public roads.
- Employers must query the Clearinghouse annually for each driver they currently employ.
The Clearinghouse supports FMCSA and employers with tools to identify drivers who are prohibited from operating a CMV based on DOT drug and alcohol program violations and ensure these drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before operating a CMV. The Clearinghouse allows employers to identify drivers who commit a drug or alcohol program violation while working for one employer but fail to inform another employer. Records of drug and alcohol program violations will remain in the Clearinghouse for five years, or until the driver has completed the return-to-duty process, whichever is later.
FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Testing Program
Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers who operate under a CDL with a gross vehicle weight of 26,001 lbs. or more are required to be enrolled in a third-party random drug and alcohol testing consortium. Holding a CDL does not entitle a person to be tested for drugs and alcohol under the FMCSA DOT drug and alcohol testing program. The individual must be operating a CMV as specified below:
- According to FMCSA guidelines, any individual who drives a CMV, as defined in 382.107, in intrastate or interstate commerce and is subject to the CDL requirement of 49 CFR part 383, is considered a CMV operator.
- The following is the definition of 382.107:
- The term “commercial motor vehicle” refers to any motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles that is used in commerce to convey persons or property, regardless of whether the vehicle is licensed.
- The combination weighs at least 11,794 kilograms (26,001 pounds), whichever is greater; it includes towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating of at least 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds), whichever is greater; or the combination weighs at least 11,794 kilograms (26,001 pounds), whichever is greater.
- Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 11,794 kilograms (26,001 pounds) or a gross vehicle weight of 11,794 kilograms (26,001 pounds), whichever is larger; or
- The vehicle is intended to transport 16 or more people (including the driver);
- Is any size and is used in the transportation of materials that have been determined to be dangerous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. 5103(b)) and which necessitate the placarding of motor vehicles under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR part 172, subpart F)
- The following is the definition of 382.107:
FMCSA Compliance Requirements – Who Is Covered by the Regulations?
According to FMCSA guidelines, any individual who drives a CMV, as defined in 382.107, in intrastate or interstate commerce and is subject to the CDL requirement of 49 CFR part 383, is considered to be a commercial motor vehicle operator.
Training Required by the FMCSA
The applicable regulation, 49 CFR 382.603, requires supervisors of CMV drivers who operate vehicles that require a CDL to complete 60 minutes of training on the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse and another 60 minutes of training on the signs and symptoms of controlled substance abuse (120 minutes in total). In this course, supervisors learn to recognize situations and indicators that may lead to a reasonable suspicion that a driver is using or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and how to send an employee for testing based on that suspicion.
If you operate cars on public highways that require a CDL and you have more than one employee in your company, you are required to complete Department of Transportation Supervisor Training. Owner-operators are exempt from DOT supervisor training requirements. Owner-operators, on the other hand, are still obliged to register with a consortium for DOT drug and alcohol testing.
Drivers of commercial vehicles must submit to numerous FMCSA drug and alcohol tests in order to become and remain DOT compliant. This is for their own protection as well as the safety of others on the road. The following are the sorts of tests that are needed of individuals who work for companies that are regulated by the FMCSA.
Types of Testing
Pre-Employment Drug and Alcohol Testing
Before being recruited, commercial truck drivers must pass a pre-employment drug screening in order to be considered DOT compliant.
After being involved in an accident, the FMCSA requires that the driver submit to post-accident drug testing in order to remain DOT compliant.
Random testing is a technique that is used to test a group of people at random. Drivers of commercial trucks are required to submit to randomized drug testing every six months. Random alcohol tests are performed prior to, during, and immediately after a delivery to ensure the safety of the patient.
Test for Reasonable Suspicion
If an employer or supervisor suspects that a commercial truck driver is abusing drugs or alcohol, the driver must submit to an FMCSA drug or alcohol test.
After being disciplined for previously violating DOT compliance requirements, truck drivers must submit to drug testing when they return to work.
Tests to be Performed in the Future
Commercial truck drivers who have returned to duty following DOT compliance infractions will be subjected to regular follow-up drug screens in order to ensure that they remain drug-free.
USDOT Services makes staying in compliance is simple, easy, and affordable offering:
- Access to over 20,000 collection sites across the country.
- Online drug testing ordering – no forms required.
- Access to your account is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Membership includes a drug and alcohol policy.
- Membership includes audit and inspection support.
USDOT Services Customer Service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year