The new FMCSA Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse has commercial drivers and employers a little unsure about what to expect from the process. While we’ve discussed in other blogs how the new rule is intended to help, we thought it would be helpful to take a look at exactly who it’s intended to help.
Below we’ve broken down the different people, organizations, and programs that stand to benefit from the implementation of the new clearinghouse.
One of the main benefits of the new clearinghouse will be employers having better access to information on drivers and potential drivers.
As more drivers register their drug and alcohol violations on the clearinghouse, company’s will begin to have a better understanding of the backgrounds of potential employees. This should help avoid potential conflicts, and even legal issues, when criminal records or driving violations are withheld from employers. Any positive drug results, alcohol results with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.04, or refusals to be tested will be violations of the Clearinghouse, and employers will be made aware.
Drivers who obey the rules of the road actually stand to benefit from the new clearinghouse. A clean record in the clearinghouse will be an indication of a driver's commitment to his or her work and also proof of an ability to stay sober on the job.
Any inconveniences involved in the process would presumably be during the initial stage of registering for the Clearinghouse, but once drivers get familiar with the process, with help from online learning services like Clearinghouse Navigator, it should be a relatively smooth operation.
When issuing or renewing a commercial driver's license, state licensing agencies will be able to query the clearinghouse database in the process of reviewing the applicant. The benefits of doing this will be significant.
Having one centralized database to query should make the process of reviewing drivers a much more efficient one, both in regards to time and quality. Rather than scouring through records and an assortment of databases, the agencies will have all the information they need in one main location.
The most important outcome from the new FMCSA Clearinghouse? Once the rule is implemented, the roads will slowly but surely become safer for all those who share it.