What is the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse?

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truck accidents

The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is an online database that provides employers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and state law enforcement with real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders’ drug and alcohol violations. The Clearinghouse helps prospective employers identify drivers who have a drug or alcohol violation with one employer, but who fail to notify the new employer of the violation, which is required. According to the FMCSA, there have been approximately 8,000 positive substance abuse tests and over 650,000 registrations in the first seven weeks of the Clearinghouse.

In early January, there was a problem with the database after registrants overloaded the system. The issue has since been resolved. The FMCSA released a statement stating that the Clearinghouse had encouraging results, but progress needs to be made. Drivers who abuse drugs or alcohol, then get behind the wheel of a large commercial truck, endanger the lives of other motorists on the road. The FMCSA will continue to work closely with industry officials, law enforcement, and state partners to ensure that implementation is effective and that as many alcohol and drug-related truck accidents are prevented.

For the Clearinghouse to be effective, more drivers need to register. However, according to driver recruiter DriverReach, approximately 10 percent of drivers who are applying for jobs have registered. Carriers are required to do a limited query of its drivers once a year, but this will reveal only whether drivers have something in their file. For full results, drivers must provide consent.

Who is Required to Register for the Clearinghouse?

According to the FMCSA, the following individuals are required to register for the Clearinghouse:

  • Employers of CDL and CLP holders.
  • Designated service agents and medical review officers who report drug and alcohol violations that occurred on or after January 4, 2020.
  • Employers or service agents who conduct required queries notifying them about prospective or current employees who have drug or alcohol violations in their Clearinghouse records. Before conducting queries in the Clearinghouse, employers must purchase a query plan from the FMCSA Clearinghouse website.
  • Drivers who respond to employer consent requests.
  • Drivers who wish to see their Clearinghouse record when applying for a job.
  • Substance abuse professionals who report on driver assessments and eligibility to return to duty testing for violations committed on or after January 6, 2020.

Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Drunk Driving-Related Truck Accidents

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a truck accident and the truck driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We take these cases seriously and will ensure that the negligent party is held liable for your injuries. We will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, allowing us to represent victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.