ATA supports bill to close drug test loophole

| April 11, 2011

The American Trucking Associations said April 8 it supports the U.S. Senate Safe Roads Act bill, which would close a loophole that allows truck drivers who have tested positive for drugs or alcohol to deceive carriers and continue driving.

“For over 15 years, commercial drivers have been required to submit to drug and alcohol testing to ensure they aren’t impaired while on the highway,” said Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “However, a loophole in the system allows drivers who test positive to evade the consequences of their actions by failing to disclose their complete work histories and positive test results to prospective employers.”

ATA said the Government Accountability Office and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration both have found that a centralized clearinghouse for drug and alcohol test results is preferable to the current system that relies both on drivers to self-report their failed tests and on previous employers to provide test results to future employers. Currently, these prospective employers only learn of test results when drivers disclose the names of past employers for whom they tested positive.

Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) introduced the bill.