Shaffer


Sponsored By:

   The Nation  |  Business  |  Equipment  |  Features

Industrial Parts Dep

FMCSA extends comment period for alcohol, drug clearinghouse for 30 days

The extension comes after the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association petitioned the agency to extend the comment period 60 days, but FMCSA granted only half of the time requested.

The Trucker News Services

4/18/2014

WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said Friday it was extending by 30 days the comment period for the proposed drug and alcohol clearinghouse rulemaking.

The deadline is now May 21.

The extension comes after the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association petitioned the agency to extend the comment period 60 days, but FMCSA granted only half of the time requested.

“This rulemaking concerns the dissemination of information that can have a direct bearing on a commercial motor vehicle drivers’ ability to operate safely on our highways. It governs not only drivers who must follow drug testing rules, but also the institutions that manage and conduct the federal drug testing scheme and the users who now, or will under the rule, avail themselves of driver drug testing results information,” the petition from OOIDA said.

“Given the complexity of the propose rule, the multitude of various interests in the proposed rule, and the timing of the due date for comments on the calendar, OOIDA requests … that the comment period for the rulemaking be extended for 60 days.”

On Feb. 20, FMCSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking to establish the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, a database under the agency’s administration that would contain controlled substances and alcohol test result information for the holders of CDLs. The proposed rule would require FMCSA- regulated motor carrier employers, medical review officers, substance abuse professionals and consortia/third-party administrators supporting U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) testing programs to report verified positive, adulterated, and substituted drug test results, positive alcohol test results, test refusals, negative return-to-duty test results and information on follow-up testing.

The rule would also require employers to report actual knowledge of traffic citations for driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The proposed rule would establish the terms of access to the database, including the conditions under which information would be submitted, accessed, maintained, updated, removed and released to prospective employers, current employers, and other authorized entities. Finally, it would require laboratories that provide FMCSA-regulated motor carrier employers with DOT drug testing services to report, annual, summary information about their testing activities.

This rule is mandated by Section 32402 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

Find more news and analysis from The Trucker, and share your thoughts, on Facebook.

Amer. Truckers Legal