The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said its commercial driver’s license (CDL) drug and alcohol clearinghouse that launched last month is working as intended.
The agency announced on Friday that the clearinghouse has already identified nearly 8,000 positive substance abuse tests that have been recorded since Jan. 6, when the final rule went into effect. The clearinghouse requires that drivers who have tested positive complete return-to-duty requirements, which include completion of initial assessments conducted by substance abuse professionals and additional testing.
An FMCSA spokesman told School Transportation News that information on whether any of the violations included school bus drivers was unavailable.
The clearinghouse has more than 650,000 clearinghouse registrants as of Friday, but it was not immediately clear how many of those were drivers with CDLs or learner’s permits. At this report, the FMCSA spokesman had not responded to a follow-up question sent by STN.
The no-cost registration process to use the clearinghouse began last fall for drivers, as well as employers and medical review officers.
Commercial drivers are also not required to immediately register for the clearinghouse. However, the FMCSA said in its statement that registration is required to provide consent to prospective employers that are querying the database as part of pre-employment screening.
FMCSA is giving state agencies an additional three years to comply with a requirement to query driver information before approving licenses, though states can voluntarily use the system.
Meanwhile, companies and organizations must be registered by the beginning of next year to perform queries on driver applicants, as well as an annual check on currently employed drivers, FMCSA officials added.
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