New Database Will Improve Oversight of Commercial Driver Records
Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it would be launching a new national database, known as the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The new database will be aimed at reducing the number of truck-related accidents caused by commercial driver substance abuse and driving violations. While the database’s effectiveness remains to be seen, as it will not be implemented until 2020, its creation represents a determination on the part of agencies and lawmakers alike to improve efforts at keeping drivers safe on the road. To speak with an experienced commercial truck accident attorney about your own truck accident, please contact a member of our legal team today.
The FMCSA’s new commercial driver database will allow for the inclusion of information related to a driver’s:
- Drug and alcohol test results, including any refusals to participate in testing; and
- Convictions for impaired driving offenses.
This information can then be used by employers before hiring new drivers, as well as after a job has been offered, as the database will be updated every year for each driver. In fact, under the Clearinghouse Rule, employers will be required to check the database for current and prospective employee drug and alcohol violations before they can permit those individuals to operate a commercial vehicle on public roads. Similarly, state driver licensing agencies will also be required to check the database whenever issuing, renewing, transferring, or upgrading a Commercial Driver’s License.
In addition to being required to search the database for information regarding an applicant, employers must also report certain information to the Clearinghouse by the end of the third business day after the date on which the employer discovered the information, including:
- Any alcohol confirmation test results that reveal a BAC of 0.04 percent or more;
- A negative return-to-duty test result;
- When a driver refuses to submit to a Department of Transportation test for alcohol or drug consumption;
- Details regarding a violation about which the employer has actual knowledge; and
- Reports explaining that a driver successfully completed all necessary tests as orders by a substance abuse professional.
Records of these types of violations will be available on the database until the later of the following dates:
- Five years from the date of the violation; or
- Until the driver completes the return-to-duty process.
However, it’s important to note that the Clearinghouse database will only contain information about violations that occur on or after January 4, 2020.
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The Clearinghouse database will hopefully provide agencies and employers with the information necessary to identify dangerous commercial truck drivers and ensuring that they receive the evaluations and treatment that they need. However, this information will not be available until the beginning of 2020, which means that in the meantime, many drivers may be at risk of injury at the hands of negligent truck drivers. For a free evaluation of your own truck accident case, please contact Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919 today.