February 26, 2014. On February 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed a rule for the clearinghouse which was mandated by the Moving Ahead for Profess in the 21st Century Act. The FMCSA’s proposed rule would establish the database under the agency’s administration, which would hold the controlled substances and alcohol test results for licensed commercial drivers. FMCSA-regulated motor carrier employers, Medical Review Officers, Substance Abuse Professionals, and consortia/third party administrators to report verified positive, adulterated, and substituted drug test results, positive alcohol test results, test refusals, negative return-to-duty test results, and information regarding follow-up testing. Employers would also be required to report actual knowledge of DUI citations. The clearinghouse will be created to provide a one-stop shop for motor carriers to check drug and alcohol history of potential and current employees. The previous system required motor carriers to ask for drug and alcohol test history from an applicant and his/her former employers (who are disclosed by the applicant). Under the proposed rule, motor carriers will be required to search the clearinghouse for a prospective employee’s drug and alcohol history. Employers will then be obligated to search each current employee drivers’ names in the clearinghouse annually. These employers must also report positive test results and other circumstances and DUIs to the clearinghouse. Motor carriers are also required to revise their written substance abuse policies accordingly. The rule would also require other professionals to report to the clearinghouse: Medical Review Officers, Substance Abuse Professionals, Laboratories, Consortia/Third Party Administrators. Finally, drivers will be required to report violations of drug and alcohol regulations to all employers.
The proposed rule states: “Under the current drug and alcohol screening program, employers do not have the tools to identify CDL holders who have received positive drug or alcohol test results, have refused a drug or alcohol test, or have otherwise violated the drug and alcohol testing requirements and thus, are not qualified to operate a CMV. Employers must rely on information provided by the driver, who might not disclose [such information]”
The rule also proposes terms of access to the database, such as how information is submitted, maintained, accessed, updated, removed, and released. The DOT is accepting public comments through April 21, 2014. The full text can be found at the link here.