Approximately 4,862 people suffered fatal injuries in large truck accidents across the United States in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. At least 193 of those deaths occurred in Georgia alone. Truckers under the influence of drugs and alcohol are responsible for a number of those truck accidents and deaths. Some truckers who have caused serious accidents have previous driving violations but are still operating large trucks on the road.
As a result, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration created the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which monitors truckers who have driving violations.
How does the Clearinghouse work?
When truck drivers receive violations for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, they must register with the Clearinghouse. Truckers must then go through required treatment and evaluations before they can drive a commercial vehicle again. All records of violations, positive drug and alcohol tests, treatment, test refusals and evaluations are in the clearinghouse for at least five years.
Truckers who have violations must give consent to allow current and/or future employers to view their driving records.
Who has access to the Clearinghouse?
The Clearinghouse gives certain parties, including medical review officers, third-party administrators, state driver licensing agencies, substance abuse professionals, state law enforcement personnel, FMCSA-regulated employers and other agents real-time access to the critical information regarding driving violations and CDL status. Before a company can hire a new driver or continue to employ current drivers, employers must perform a routine check within the Clearinghouse to ensure truckers are safe to go out on the road.