In early 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration came out with a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which is a database used to track commercial truckers cited for substance abuse violations. The idea behind the database is to help keep under-the-influence truck drivers off of Texas and the nation’s roads. Yet, many truckers cited in the clearinghouse wind up returning to active duty.
Per the Commercial Carrier Journal, as of April, 2021, there were more than 64,000 truck drivers involved in the return-to-duty process truckers must complete after receiving substance abuse citations in the clearinghouse.
Trucker alcohol violations
While not as common as drug abuse in commercial trucking, alcohol abuse is still highly problematic. In 2020, the clearinghouse logged 1,185 alcohol-related infractions involving commercial truck drivers across the nation.
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Trucker drug violations
Drug violations significantly outpaced those involving alcohol among commercial truckers in 2020. In total, there were 54,776 truck driver drug violations logged in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse that year. Yet, during the first three months of 2021, there were already 14,324 drug violations listed in the clearinghouse. Whether that trend continues for the rest of the year is not yet clear. Yet, if it does, 2021’s trucker drug violations may exceed 2020’s by quite a bit.
The majority of the drug infractions logged in the clearinghouse involve marijuana. Some believe this is due to the fact that marijuana laws differ so much from state to state.
Truck drivers who abuse drugs and alcohol put everyone on the road at risk. Truckers who drive under the influence may face serious sanctions, regardless of whether they have a history of similar infractions.