People in Louisiana know that the state has strong laws in place regarding drunk or drugged drivers. It can be important for them to also know that the agency that provides oversight to the commercial transportation industry is also developing a program designed to crack down on impaired driving among truckers and other drivers with commercial licenses.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s drug and alcohol clearinghouse centers around the development of a robust database that will house important substance testing, results and violation information for all persons with commercial driving licenses. It also requires anyone applying for a commercial driving job to first take a drug and alcohol test, the results of which will be added to the database.
Companies that employ commercial drivers are then required to review the database prior to finalizing a hiring decision. A driver with a failed test or a refused test should not be hired for a commercial driving job. If a driver passes a test and is hired, the employer must review the database every year thereafter to ensure any new violations are not added.
As explained by Transport Topics, part of the program included reporting of test data to state licensing agencies. However, the initial rule did not give these agencies the ability to do anything with the information. Efforts are underway to ensure that a trucker cannot get a new, transferred, renewed or upgraded commercial driving license if they have not passed a test per the drug and alcohol clearinghouse rules.