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Stand Against Impaired Driving and Query the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

12/14/2022 16:22

Employers of CDL drivers are required to query the Clearinghouse to verify that their current or prospective employees are not prohibited from operating CMVs.

The Problem

The problem of impaired driving is a serious one that affects multiple people, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and others. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that nearly 10,000 people die in alcohol-related crashes every year. Even more sobering is the fact that there are over 300,000 injuries caused by these same crashes each year.

These numbers illustrate just how important it is to take a stand against impaired driving and find new ways to make sure our roads are safe for everyone. The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse could be part of this solution; an online database that provides employers with access to information on their employees’ drug and alcohol violations. Employers can use this information when hiring or retaining drivers to ensure they have policies in place that protect their employees from dangerous situations on the roadways.

What is the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse?

Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is a serious issue in our society today, one that needs to be addressed. The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is an important tool to stand against impaired driving by providing employers with access to driver records related to drug and alcohol violations. This initiative provides employers with the most up-to-date information available on drug and alcohol-related incidents involving their current or potential drivers.

The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse was launched in January 2020 as part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) commitment to keep commercial drivers safe on America’s roadways. It serves as a national database for reporting, querying, and monitoring drug and alcohol program violations made by individuals who are required to comply with FMCSA regulations.

Benefits of Registering with the Clearinghouse

Impaired driving is a serious problem that affects us all. Every year, thousands of lives are lost due to drunk or drug-impaired driving. It's time for communities to take a stand and put an end to this deadly epidemic. Raising awareness about the dangers of impaired driving is essential, but it isn't enough. To truly make an impact, we must also be proactive in our efforts by querying the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (DAC).

How to Register with the Clearinghouse

Employers of CDL drivers must:

  • Conduct annual queries to check if current employees are prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as operating CMVs, due to an unresolved drug and alcohol program violation.
  • Conduct pre-employment queries to check if prospective hires are prohibited.
  • Report CDL driver violations of the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy that are not reported by a medical review officer (MRO).
  • Register in the Clearinghouse, which is required to complete the above actions.

The Effectiveness of the Clearinghouse

The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is a crucial tool in the fight against impaired driving. The clearinghouse, which began in 2020, was created to help employers stay informed about their employees’ drug and alcohol abuse history. It provides an effective way for employers to make sure that those who are behind the wheel are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The clearinghouse works by collecting information from participating employers, including pre-employment screening results, drug, and alcohol test results, post-accident tests, random tests, return-to-duty tests, and follow-up tests. The clearinghouse also provides a secure online portal for employers to access the data easily. This allows them to quickly identify any individuals with a history of substance abuse so that those individuals can be removed from positions that involve operating vehicles or any other duties related to public safety.

How does a drug and alcohol program violation impact CDL drivers?

Drivers must be removed from safety-sensitive functions if a query conducted by their employer indicates the driver is in a “prohibited” status. The driver must complete the return-to-duty process established in 49 CFR part 40 before resuming safety-sensitive functions.

By 2024, as part of new Federal regulations, FMCSA is partnering with State Driver’s License Agencies (SDLAs) so drivers with violations reported to the Clearinghouse will lose or be denied a commercial driving privilege until the driver completes the return-to-duty process.

Keeping unsafe CMV drivers off the road is the responsibility of all employers of CMV operators. Keep your fleet running safely and protect everyone on our Nation’s roads—query the Clearinghouse records as required when you hire CDL drivers and at least once a year.

Resources & Education to Combat Impaired Driving

It is no secret that impaired driving is a serious issue in the United States. In 2017, there were over 10,000 deaths resulting from drunk driving accidents alone. This number does not include other types of impairment such as drug use or distracted driving. To help combat this public health crisis and reduce the number of impaired driving incidents, various resources, and educational efforts have been developed to raise awareness about the risks associated with operating a motor vehicle while impaired.

The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is one such resource that can help individuals stay informed about the dangers of impaired driving. The clearinghouse provides critical information on drivers’ histories related to alcohol and drug use so employers can make sure that their employees are safe when they get behind the wheel.

Conclusion: Take Action

As the number of impaired driving incidents continues to climb in our country, it is important that we take a stand against this tragic and preventable behavior. The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (DAC) offers a way to help put an end to impaired driving. This federal database maintains records on commercial driver’s license holders who have violated drug or alcohol laws while operating a motor vehicle. It allows employers of drivers with Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) to verify their applicants' past infractions before hiring them. In conclusion, by querying the DAC employers can help ensure safety for everyone on the roads by avoiding hiring those with previous violations related to drug or alcohol use while operating a vehicle.

For more information, visit https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov or reach out to us at Labworks USA and we can help you manage your clearinghouse.



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