Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is Fully Operational and Mandatory Use is Now in Effect

Last year, EPIC’s Vice President of Transportation & Logistics Risk Control Michael Nischan warned that it was likely the random drug testing rate would revert back to 50 percent from the 25 percent rate put in place four years ago. Unfortunately, that is precisely what has happened. 

Based on the results of the 2018 FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Testing Survey, the positive rate for controlled substances random testing increased to one percent. As a result, the FMCSA is required to increase the controlled substances minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing to 50 percent of the average number of driver positions. Remember that this pertains to all drivers required to have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

Key Points:

  • Starting January 6, 2020, motor carriers or designated service agents are required to query the Clearinghouse before hiring a CDL driver applicant, and annually for their existing driver workforce, to verify that drivers are not in violation of drug and alcohol prohibitions.
  • Employers are required to query the Clearinghouse for current and prospective employees’ drug and alcohol violations before permitting those employees to operate a CMV on public roads, as well as annually for each driver employed.
  • Once implemented, employers and their service agents must populate the Clearinghouse with their employees’ drug and alcohol violations under Part 382 and verification of a CDL driver’s completed steps in the return-to-duty process. A Clearinghouse account is needed to provide these data elements.
  • If a driver refuses to give permission to access his/her Clearinghouse record (limited/full query), he/she cannot perform a safety-sensitive function. This means no driving of CMV’s requiring a CDL.

Users can visit clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/register to create a user account. Instructions can be downloaded to register as a:

*For motor carriers using owner-operators: persons employing themselves as a CDL driver should register as an employer and then indicate owner-operator status when asked.

EPIC Transportation & Logistics Risk Control

Successfully managing risk by identifying and controlling potential sources of loss is the most effective strategy to protect your business and reduce your insurance costs. EPIC’s team of transportation and logistics industry specialists will act as your partner in this process. We will work with you to identify the risks that you face, discuss strategies to minimize or eliminate them and then determine whether risk retention, insurance or a combination of the two is the best method for addressing them. When insurance is the answer we will deliver comprehensive, cost-effective options from the world’s major insurance companies and specialty carriers.

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Michael Nischan

VP, Transportation & Logistics Risk Control – Duluth, GA