Louisiana residents who are concerned about truckers that might be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating their big rigs should know that the federal government has been working to address this issue but a glitch in the effort was recently discovered. In the past few years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration passed what it called the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rule.
This rule prompted the development of a database that would house a selection of information about drivers with commercial driving licenses. This information would include the results of any drug or alcohol testing and any substance violations. People hiring drivers would be required to review candidates' database records prior to finalizing any employment for a driving position. State licensing agencies would also review the database when issuing a new, renewed or upgraded commercial driving license.
Drivers would be required to pass substance testing before being hired for a driving job and if they refused to take the test, they could be hired but not for a position that requires driving. If they refused a test, the refusal would also be noted in the database.
Transport Topics reported that while state agencies are able to review the database, the original rule did not provide them the authority to do anything with the information they found in the database. This means they could not deny a commercial driving license to someone who had failed a drug or alcohol test. It is expected that this oversight will be rectified.