FMCSA Records Over 56,000 Truck Driver Drug and Alcohol Violations in 2020

Drug Testing

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – an administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) with a mission to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses – has released a report that shows more than 56,000 drug and alcohol violations were recorded in its Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse in 2020, according to an article from Transport Topics.

According to the FMCSA December 2020 Monthly Summary Report that summarized violations recorded since the Clearinghouse went into effect January 6, 2020, the leading number of drug test failures was for marijuana with 29,500, followed by 7,940 failed tests for cocaine and 4,953 for amphetamines. Only 1,203 of the total driver violations were alcohol-related. About 1,120 were reasonable suspicion of attempts to cheat on a drug test.

“The good news is that the system is working in capturing violations by drivers and allowing employers and enforcement personnel to verify a driver’s status prior to permitting him or her to drive,” Duane DeBruyne, an FMCSA spokesman, stated in the Transport Topics article. “Any violation reported is a bad thing; blocking prohibited drivers from endangering themselves and the lives of the motoring public is a good thing.”

According to the FMCSA report, there were 136,806 full queries, 1.4 million pre-employment queries, and 2.7 million limited queries on the Clearinghouse during 2020. Along with pre-employment queries, employers are required to make checks on the database annually to ensure none of their employees have any drug violations. Approximately 1.6 million drivers and 197,000 employers registered in the Clearinghouse in 2020.

The Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is a secure online database that gives employers, the FMCSA, State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs), and State law enforcement personnel real-time information about commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations. To learn more about the Clearinghouse, visit https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider that was ranked the number one background screening firm by HRO Today in 2020 – provides transportation industry background screening services that specialize in the trucking, automotive, and transportation industries to help them be confident about the drivers that they employ. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

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