New FMCSA Clearinghouse Logged Nearly 46,000 Drug & Alcohol Violations in Less than a Year

Texas 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer | 46,000 Drug & Alcohol Violations Reported to FMCSA

Nearly 46,000 drug and alcohol violations involving truckers and other commercial drivers were reported to a new federal clearinghouse during its first 10 months of operation.

According to a recent report issued by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA), more than 80% of those violations concerned positive drug tests.

Abut the FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse

The FMCSA Clearinghouse launched on January 6, 2020, to provide real-time information on commercial driver license (CDL) holders’ drug and alcohol violations to carriers, state driver licensing agencies, and law enforcement officials.  Companies that employ CDL holders are required to report any violations involving those employees to the database, including:

  • Anytime a CDL holder reports for or remains on duty with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater or while using any drug specified in FMCSA regulations, unless prescribed by a licensed healthcare provider
  • Using Alcohol while performing, or within four hours of performing, a safety-sensitive function.
  • Using alcohol within eight hours of an accident, or until their post-accident test, whichever occurs first.
  • Testing positive for the use of specified drugs.
  • Refusing to submit to a required alcohol or drug test.

Employers must also query the database annually to ensure a CDL holder doesn’t have any outstanding violations. All interstate and intrastate commercial carriers – including trucking companies and passenger carriers – are subject to these requirements. The regulations also apply to:

  • School bus drivers
  • Construction Equipment Operators
  • Limousine drivers
  • Municipal vehicle drivers
  • Any entity that employs drivers subject to FMCSA drug and alcohol testing regulations.

Positive Tests for Marijuana Led Violation Reports

According to the FMCSA, 45,991 violations were reported to the Clearinghouse from January 2020 through October 2020. Drug violations accounted for 44,993 of those reports, or 82% of the total.

Marijuana appears to be the drug of choice for most violators, as positive tests for marijuana metabolites accounted for 24,000 of the total violations reported to the database during its first 10 months of operation.  The Clearinghouse also logged:

  • 6,656 positive tests for cocaine
  • 4,279 positive tests for methamphetamine
  • 4,080 positive tests for amphetamine
  • 1,111 positive tests for Oxymorphone
  • 909 positive tests for Oxycodone
  • 822 positive tests for Hydromorphone
  • 366 positive tests for Morphine
  • 315 positive tests for Codeine
  • 248 positive tests for 6-Acetylmorphine
  • 103 positive tests for Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • 55 positive tests for Ecstasy
  • 23 positive tests for Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA)

There were also more than 1,900 drug tests that were suspected attempts to cheat. Additionally, the database recorded 609 tests indicating a blood alcohol concentration of .04 or greater, 237 alcohol test refusals, and 152 reports indicating actual knowledge of an alcohol violation.

More than 38,000 drivers with at least one violation had not yet completed the return to duty process and were prohibited from operating a commercial vehicle.

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