In 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which is a database that tracks trucker drug and alcohol infractions. The point of the clearinghouse is to help identify truck drivers who drive under the influence and keep them off Louisiana and the nation’s roadways.
The Commercial Carrier Journal reports that the clearinghouse first took shape in January of 2020. The results from last year and the first quarter of 2021 have since become available. If current trends continue to move in the same direction, 2021 is going to be a worse year for trucker substance abuse than 2020 was.
Clearinghouse findings since its inception
Between January of 2020 and the end of March in 2021, the clearinghouse logged 69,100 drug-related truck driver infractions. The majority of those infractions involved truckers who had positive drug tests. However, some semi-truck drivers received clearinghouse infractions because they refused to submit to drug testing at all. The clearinghouse results show that alcohol abuse is also a problem among truck drivers. The database turned up 1,551 alcohol-related violations during this span.
Clearinghouse findings for the first quarter of 2021
Right now, only results from the first three months of 2021 are available. During this span, the clearinghouse logged 14,324 trucker drug offenses and another 367 alcohol-related infractions. If results for the other three quarters of 2021 remain consistent, drug and alcohol violations from this year are going to significantly outpace last year’s.
Any trucker who receives an alcohol or drug infraction in the clearinghouse has to follow a strict return-to-duty protocol before returning to work.