Driving any commercial vehicle requires skill, training, and experience. This is especially true for semi-truck drivers, who operate massive trucks that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. If a truck driver gets behind the wheel high on drugs, he or she puts everyone on the road in serious danger.
Now, the federal government is preparing to issue a final rule on the creation of a central database that would list truck drivers who have failed drug tests.
The Department of Transportation announced it is ready to issue a rule requiring individuals who possess commercial driver’s licenses to register with a database any time they fail a drug test or refuse to take one. The CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse final rule was scheduled to be published November 21, however, it has been delayed.
Drug and alcohol testing has been mandatory for holders of CDLs since 1991, when Congress passed the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act. The Act requires commercial carriers who employ truck drivers to test drivers and to remove them from driving duty when they refuse a test or fail one.
However, this information does not necessarily get gathered in one place, and there have been many cases in which truck drivers have caused serious accidents while under the influence of drugs. The new rule aims to collect failed drug tests and refusals in a central database operated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).