Clearinghouse Final Rule for DOT Drug Testing Database UPDATE
Carriers would be required to query the database when making new hires and once a year for existing drivers, according to the proposed rule published in 2014 by FMCSA. When querying the database, however, carriers would be required to obtain written consent from a driver before doing so and for access to information in the clearinghouse. If a driver refuses to allow the query, he or she would be barred from driving.
In addition to reporting failed drug tests and test refusals and querying for new hires, carriers would be required on an annual basis to query the database for current driver employees. They’d also be required to report traffic citations for drivers cited driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Drivers will be allowed to appeal results by requesting administrative review by submitting a written request and a written explanation of why he or she thinks the clearinghouse has erred. FMCSA would then make a decision within 60 days.
FMCSA says the rule is intended to make sure drivers who have tested positive or refused a test have completed the DOT’s return-to-duty process before driving commercially again, and to make sure employers are meeting their drug and alcohol testing responsibilities.
A Final Rule that would create the Clearinghouse for CDL holders has been sent by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, its last stop before being published as a legally binding rule. If, or when, passed, experts say the rule may not take affect for a couple years.