Feds propose further crackdown on drivers using illicit drugs and alcohol

Washington, DC – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed today to prohibit State Driver’s Licensing Agencies from issuing, renewing, upgrading, or transferring a commercial driver’s license (CDL), or commercial learner’s permit (CLP), for individuals prohibited under current regulations from driving a commercial motor vehicle due to controlled substance (drug) and alcohol program violations.

The proposed rule is intended to address the risk to public safety posed by CLP and CDL holders who commit drug or alcohol testing violations but continue to operate a commercial motor vehicle without completing return-to-duty requirements. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the number of large truck drivers involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for drug use increased 48.2 percent between 2012 and 2017.

The agency further seeks comment on alternate proposals establishing additional ways that State Driver’s Licensing Agencies would use information, obtained through the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse), to increase compliance with the CMV driving prohibition.

Finally, the FMCSA proposes to revise how reports of actual knowledge violations, based on a citation for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in a commercial motor vehicle, would be maintained in the Clearinghouse.
The Agency suggests the proposed changes would improve highway safety by increasing compliance with existing drug and alcohol program requirements. They are currently seeking public comment through June 29, 2020. To review the notice and provide comments, click here.

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