Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Compliance
Vermont Truck & Bus Association (VTBA) can help you comply with the requirements of the FMCSA's Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse. VTBA can handle your required pre-employment queries and annual queries for you.
We act as your consortium/third-party administrator in the Clearinghouse.
In short, VTBA can ease this administrative burden for our members. We charge low rates to do this. This is a members-only benefit.
Contact VTBA today if you have questions about how VTBA can help with your Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse compliance.
What is the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse?
An act of Congress directed the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation to establish the Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse enables employers to identify drivers who commit a drug and alcohol program violation while working for one employer but fail to subsequently inform another employer (as required by current regulations). The Clearinghouse went into effect in January 2020.
The Clearinghouse is a secure online database that gives employers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (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 (C.L.P.) holders’ drug and alcohol program violations.
The Clearinghouse provides FMCSA and employers the tools to identify drivers prohibited from operating a CMV based on D.O.T. drug and alcohol program violations and ensure that such drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before operating a CMV on public roads.
Employers who do not comply with the FMCSA requirements are subject to the civil and criminal penalties set forth at 49 U.S.C. 521(b)(2)(C) (i.e., civil penalties not to exceed $2,500 for each offense).
Frequently Asked Questions
The mandatory testing procedures are based on those established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
These procedures include:
- Urine sample collection
- Laboratory procedures
- Alcohol test procedures
- Reporting of results and confidential record-keeping of final test results and statistical data.
Only laboratories certified by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) may be used. These procedures exist to safeguard the accuracy and protect privacy of drivers.
Companies and drivers must participate honestly in the process. A driver who refuses to submit to testing is considered “unqualified to drive.” A driver who has tested positive test results with a qualified medical review officer (MRO). The driver will be allowed to explain any special circumstances to the MRO. The MRO is responsible for reporting the results to the companies drug program management for action.
All drivers determined to be positive by the MRO must be referred to a substance abuse professional (SAP) for counseling.
In addition to the testing procedures, §382 of the FMCSA regulations requires all drivers, supervisors and company officials to undergo a training program on the use and abuse of alcohol and controlled substances.