Did you know the FMCSA is cracking down on state driver licensing agencies?
The FMCSA is now requiring state licensing agencies to keep a closer eye on truck drivers for any drug and alcohol violations. If the agency is notified of a test failure, they have to revoke their driving privileges within sixty days.
Currently, not every state licensing agency has access to databases containing drivers’ drug and alcohol offenses. Therefore, commercial motor vehicle drivers with violations still hold a CDL despite the driving prohibition. However, the new rule has closed this “knowledge gap” as it ensures that all state licensing agencies have access to the database.
In this article we will discuss the details of the FMCSA’s new ruling.
The FMCSA’s New Rule Cracks Down on Drug and Alcohol Violations
The new rule by the FMCSA reinforces previous requirements where licensing agencies must not grant, upgrade, renew, or transfer a CDL when a driver fails their drug and alcohol test.
The FMCSA requires states to check the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse database for violations before they issue or renew a license for a driver.
In addition, the new rule requires that SDLAs remove the driver’s CDL within sixty days. The agencies need to take action immediately after they receive notification from the FMCSA. The notification will state that the driver isn’t allowed to operate a commercial vehicle due to drug or alcohol use. If a driver refuses to take the test their CDL will be revoked as well.
The State Driver Licensing Agencies Must Access the FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Records
Under FMCSA’s new rule, all SDLAs need to access the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. It’s a database that contains driver-specific drug and alcohol violations. Another way agencies can get information on driver’s records is when the FMCSA sends out notifications when a drug or alcohol violation enters the database.
The final rule requires states that obtain MCSAP funds to adopt a CMV driving prohibition that can apply to CDL holders that have violated their drug and alcohol requirements.
This ruling needs to be implemented immediately, but no later than November 18, 2024.
All in all, the FMCSA has tasked SDLAs to comply with the new rule that prohibits drivers from operating commercial vehicles if they violate the drug and alcohol requirements.