The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will impact employees in multiple ways. First, it will make it easier to hire and retain safe drivers by ensuring that you know when a drug and alcohol violation occurs. This is a positive for carriers – especially as drug and alcohol use becomes a larger issue.
This peace of mind isn’t free, and will require additional time and resources to execute in your company. Carriers should understand the additional obligations their businesses now face so that they can better prepare and have the help needed to execute their compliance programs correctly.
An Additional Step in the Pre-Employment Process
Before a new CDL driver can be onboarded and put behind the wheel, carriers must get the driver’s consent and run a full Clearinghouse query to check for violations first. If it’s before January 6, 2023, they’ll also need to contact the driver’s previous employers to obtain this information. This will ensure they have three years of information available, as required by DOT regulations.
The Annual Review Process
At least once a year, for the duration of each driver’s employment, carriers are required to query the Clearinghouse to check for new violations. This query can be either a limited or a full Clearinghouse check, but if a limited query shows that a new record exists, you’ll need to get the driver’s consent to run a full query within 24 hours.
Managing Your DOT Drug and Alcohol Program
Not only do you need to check the Clearinghouse periodically to ensure your drivers are eligible to drive a CDL vehicle, but if one of them tests positive for drug use during a random drug test, or receives any other drug or alcohol violation, it is your responsibility to report that information to the Clearinghouse so that it can be added to the driver’s record. Third Party Administrators, Substance Abuse Professionals and Medical Review Officers all have this responsibility as well.
Violations that you’re responsible for reporting to the Clearinghouse include:
- Positive drug test results
- Alcohol results with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.04
- Refusals to tests
- “Actual knowledge” violations
- Negative return-to-duty test results
While it is an important step in protecting the safety of those around us and our workforce, the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse does come with new compliance requirements that could place additional strain on your company’s resources. Over the next three years when employers will be required to conduct both the Clearinghouse query, and prior employer verification before they hire a new driver.
If you need assistance with your company’s drug testing policy, contact Tomo Drug Testing for help. Based in Springfield (MO), St. Louis (MO), Kansas City (MO), Indianapolis (IN), and Tulsa (OK), we offer customized solutions to make drug testing simple, and our nationwide network of clinics and providers allows Tomo Drug Testing to be available anytime, anywhere. For a free needs analysis, give us a call today at 1-888-379-7697 or contact us online. We would be happy to help!