Proposed drug and alcohol driver database rule published, FMCSA accepting comment

| February 20, 2014

drug testThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published Feb. 20 its proposed rule for establishing a database of drivers who have failed or refused a drug test — dubbed the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse — and the agency is accepting public comment on the proposal until April 21. 

The agency officially announced the clearinghouse rule Feb. 12, coming almost two weeks after it cleared the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. The MAP-21 highway funding act passed in July 2012 directs the agency to create the clearinghouse.


Driver database rule made official: FMCSA unveils rule to implement drug/alcohol clearinghouse

A proposed rule establishing a database of CDL holders who have failed or refused to take a drug test will soon be published, FMCSA announced ...

Once the rule is final and the database implemented, carriers will be required to upload to FMCSA failed or refused drug test data, and they’ll be required to query the database when hiring a new driver and once annually for current driver employees. 

Click here to see Overdrive‘s more in-depth reporting on the rule from the agency’s release of the proposed rule’s text on Feb. 12. 

FMCSA will be accepting public comment on the proposed rule until April 21, at which point it will take comment into consideration before making the rule final. 

Public comments can be made via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at; via fax, 202-493-2251; by mail, Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, D.C., 20590; or hand delivered to the same address. All public comments must use the docket number FMCSA-2010-0031.

  • Randy

    “they’ll be required to query the database when hiring a new driver and once annually for current driver employees” Obviously a new measure to cost carriers more money. I’m sure the database will have a fee associated. If the current employee is in the carriers own random drug pool and they get the results immediately , what is the point of being required to pull the information from an outside database yearly?

  • vrahnos

    Wow now that is somethin.Now trucking company’s have to by law do a pre employment drug screen.and if a driver fails they are not hired.If If a driver has a dirty drug test on a random drug testing the the driver is put out if service till he/she goes through a drug rehab and gets clean and stays that way. Those are the rules as they stand now for all trucking companies.So they can be shutdown till they clean up their records and prove they are in complince.So this new rule is quite rediculious.

  • DAGR

    there are rules and regulations put in place for a reason…Some are just A$$anine while others should be in place. I know that there is no way that a person can perform driving under the influence. IMPOSSIBLE. Bottom line…do what is right. If you refuse there is a problem.

  • orca1993

    This whole discussion is without merit. Blatantly prejudiced against the trucking industry. If truck drivers are required to be tested, then everyone everywhere has to be tested. I don’t want my doctor to cut into me without knowing what he or she is on. I would not operate a vehicle while being less than the best I can be, and that includes sick and medicated.

  • David

    Then why is not every person employed subject to drug testing? We have cops who use, pilots who use, lawyers and congressmen as well as I’m sure judges. Actors who get sentenced by different laws. Why is that this industry is targeted for safety when no others are? Do doctors fill out log books? Do cops only work 14 hr shifts? Who else is mandated to a 34 hr time off including two certain periods before returning to work? We have become a target in order Washington to try to look good for all there wrong doings !!!


    Let’s look at what they are really accomplishing here..weed is now “legal” in WA and CO, but not on the Federal level.
    So lets say you do live in CO. You smoke some herb Sunday night in your living room. Perfectly legal. You are a good worker, have had a few bumper scratches over the years, but all in all, any company would love to have you. Monday morning, after at least 6 hrs. of sleep, you step in a truck and start the day. After two hours, you get called for a random and fail. There are no longer any effects from the weed inhibiting your driving, but you now have had your career ended by another failed drug screening policy that allows invasion of privacy into your personal life! In no way have they really stopped anyone from DUI. Just a decent family guy working hard to provide for your family who only wants to escape life’s little twists for a while, in the privacy of his own home…and now you lose EVERYTHING for NOT having a single reason why you shouldn’t be driving, other than it was in your system. Doesn’t matter if it affected your driving or not, in their eyes.
    Now, quickly…your friend lives next door and you both ride together to work. He has been popping LEGAL Vicodin and drinking tiil midnite and gets his 6 hrs of sleep. Although a really nice guy, he’s had some some drug and alcohol problems, but has been lucky after years of drinking and driving. He jumps in his truck, downs 3 beers while he gets ready for the day. Gets called in for a random after the same two hours. Uh oh! Wait…no problem. Last beer was 2 hrs ago. Water and sweat! Yes! He uses up most of his allotted 2 hr. window while downing water and going for a quick jog. Its now been almost 4 hrs since he climbed in the truck. Guess what? He passes and keeps his job.
    Who do you REALLY want on the road?
    And let’s not start on all the false positives! Now just imagine losing your livelihood for never doing ANYTHING wrong.
    Yeah, this ALL about money and nothing to do with safety.
    Sounds like state run D.O.T. inspections, huh?
    I think if they really knew how many truckers were getting around the testing, it would blow their minds. SO many products out there to pass a test.
    This is just a precursor to mandatory SUPERVISED

  • William Manley

    I’m sure politicians who want this won’t profit from the maintenance charges of the database. Who gets the contract? Follow the money and execute the liberties profiteers. They sell our liberty and enrich themselves.

  • Steve LaFleur

    I’m for it. And for the record, I am a person who failed a UA for pot, successfully completed the return to duty process involving a SAP, and I now haul Thruway tandems and am approaching my two year mark with my company. And honestly, it pisses me off when people get the ability to LIE on a job application and get away with it and continue to drive. So, yes …. you fail a piss test, pay your dues, just like me.

    If I were to win the lottery tomorrow, I would move to Colorado, quit driving semi – and be blazing within short time. However, since I still fall under the surface transportation act, I preach abstinence and walk the walk. I don’t substitute with “legal” drugs – although I do enjoy a cold beer in my “off duty” time.

    The arguments in the other comments are weak. Until pot is legal and permissible on a federal level ( don’t hold your breath ) – you can’t operate heavy equipment and have it in your system. This Federal database means nothing to people who don’t do drugs or toke the Mary Jane.

    You give up a LOT of constitutional rights when you opt to do this for a living. You are told how long you can work, and the rules never end. Blame the jackasses who do stupid shit in the public eye, especially the ones who harm the general public.

  • haller

    OK,, If I’m of the only breed of worker in the USA that cannot do drugs while I am working then I WANT $104.00 per hour.. Nothing less.. Test me before, during and after my working shift, just like everyone else, doctors, cops, construction workers, painters, councilmen, ALL office workers, etc.. If you fmcsa people think that you’re going to get the best truck drivers in the world for 9 to 12 bucks per hour and have your people treat us like crap,,, you’re dreaming,,that will never happen!!

  • haller

    I’m confused,, The fmcsa is “accepting comment” from us stupid, dumb truck drivers. I say this because of the way the STATE PATROL and the DOT treat us. I thought you people knew what you were doing……. Has anyone administered random drug testing on a daily basis at fmcsa? If this sounds like a direct attack, it is ! With all the formal education fmcsa has in it’s people do any of you have a CDL? Do any fmcsa people have 500,000 or 1,000,000miles accident free driving a big truck? Do you know what it’s like to leave on a run Sunday night at 11pm and be expected to drive 11 hours without getting tired? I believe if a truck driver is under the influence while driving any vehicle he has permanently lost his CDL, no judges, no lawyers, no second chances, you’re out.. If you want the best you must pay for the best,,

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  • Kenneth Arnold

    If a driver cleans up is act and wants to re-enter as a commercial driver several years later, it will not happen. It will blackball him for life. I would imagine the record wil never go away

  • Kenneth Arnold

    well stated. It is never about safety. Not in the last 8 to 10 years. Everything connected to the trucking industry is about how much money they can squeeze out of the industry. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.