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3 things to know about drug and alcohol violations in Clearinghouse

Clearinghouse is still a relatively new thing in the trucking world. Employers and drivers may still have questions about it, particularly when it comes to reporting driver violations and return-to-duty information. That seems like a big deal. We’ll answer a few questions about driver drug and alcohol violations and reporting information. We’ll break down some need-to-know information about Clearinghouse and driver violations.

What driver violation and return-to-duty information needs to be reported?

Trucking companies have many responsibilities when it comes to DOT Clearinghouse. They have a duty to report certain information related to drug and alcohol violations to the Clearinghouse database. This is described in §382.507(b). Here’s what employers have to report to the Clearinghouse.

  • An alcohol test with results of .04 concentration or more
  • A CDL driver’s refusal to do a DOT drug or alcohol test
  • Actual knowledge (as per §382.107)
  • Negative RTD testing results
  • The day the driver wrapped up all follow-up tests as mandated by a Substance Abuse Professional

Anyways, this is the information that employers need to report. It’s helpful to know what you as a trucking employer needs to enter into the Clearinghouse.

How does Clearinghouse record driver violation and RTD information?

The next question is how this information gets put into the Clearinghouse. It’s not like it just magically appears there. Different people have different responsibilities in this whole process. (And §382.705 explains it.) Here’s how it works.

  • Drug and alcohol program violation information is entered by an employer or a consortia/third-party administrator
  • Drug violation information can be entered by a Medical Review officer
  • An SAP (Substance Abuse Professional) enters the date of the initial SAP assessment, and the date when the driver is okay to start RTD testing
  • Employers enter negative RTD test results and the date that the driver’s follow-up testing plan has been completed

So, that’s how recording driver violation and RTD information works. Different parties involved in the process report different things.

What happens if an employer doesn’t meet the timeframe for reporting a violation?

Okay, so if you happen to miss the timeline for reporting the drug and alcohol violation, you can still report it. But be aware that Clearinghouse does note the date that the violation was reported. And that means that this information could be looked at if there’s an investigation into your business and FMCSA regulation compliance. So, that’s the scoop about the timeframe for reporting violations – you can enter the violation after the timeframe but it could come back to haunt you later.

The Clearinghouse is still relatively new, and it might seem complicated. But it’s important to be familiar with the regulations and how Clearinghouse works. There are a lot of different roles, after all. So, it’s important to do a little studying up on Clearinghouse.

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