Will truckers test results for drugs and alcohol – including their refusal to test – be part of a nationwide database?
The Secretary of the Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is directed to establish and maintain a national clearinghouse for “verified positive alcohol and controlled substance test results and test refusals” for commercial motor vehicle operators, according to Section 32402 of the Safe Roads Act of 2012.
The administration has two years from the passage of the act to establish the clearinghouse, according to the enrolled bill. Its purpose is to “improve compliance” with the DOT’s alcohol and drug testing program for commercial drivers and to enhance safety. The Act also provides penalties for violating orders that a truck be out of service. It gives the secretary of the department, or an “authorized state official carrying out motor carrier safety enforcement activities”, to enforce an imminent hazard out-of-service order, by towing and impounding a commercial motor vehicle until the order is rescinded, according to the FMCSA web site.
Before renewing or issuing a commercial driver’s license to a person, the state (or trucking companies) may be required to submit information to a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse.
This new law could have a tremendous impact of privacy rights and the ability of truck drivers to secure employment who have either failed a drug test, or refuse to take a drug test. While circumstances vary