Employers of commercial motor vehicle drivers should be making final preparations to comply with a federal law set to take effect in January. The U.S. Department of Transportation is rolling out a Federal Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse – a database to track commercial driver’s license holders who have tested positive for prohibited drug or alcohol use or who have refused to take a required test.
Currently, this information must be requested from previous employers through letters, emails or phone calls. The process can take time and produce inconsistent results.
Effective January 6, 2020, employers must begin populating the database and querying the Clearinghouse for information on new hire applicants. Only violations that occur after January 6, 2020, will be entered in the database. Employers will still be required to contact previous employers for violation information until the Clearinghouse has been in effect for three full years.
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.
The Clearinghouse is intended to improve highway safety by: