Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse


Definition - What does Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse mean?

The drug and alcohol clearinghouse is a database system established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that permits the access and retrieval of drug and alcohol testing violation(s) precluding applicants or employees from occupying safety-sensitive positions involving the operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The facility of the drug and alcohol clearinghouse is designed to enhance the protocol for cross-referencing material on a need-to-know basis about outstanding alcohol or drug abuse offenses relevant to commercial and public transit in determining job placement.

WorkplaceTesting explains Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

The Department of Transportation (DOT) sets the criterion for all FMCSA employers to develop, implement, and uphold alcohol and drug testing procedures that dictate the candidacy or reinstatement terms afforded respectively to applicants and employees in line with an effective health and safety policy. For individuals seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), a 5-panel drug test is a requirement involving the collection of a urine specimen to identify the presence of drug metabolites in the body including amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP) for laboratory analysis. The drug and alcohol clearinghouse is an efficient network that systematically integrates, distributes, and filters a CDL driver registry covering mandatory reports of drug and alcohol violation(s) from employers, Medical Review Officers (MRO), Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP), and Consortium/Third Party Administrators (C/TPAs).

In conducting research, the partial or full query option provides the extent of information necessary at an employer’s discretion, underpinning a practical avenue in keeping CDL driving records updated for research purposes. The clearinghouse database will store confirmed positive test results, adulterated/substituted specimen test results, refusal to test results, driving under the influence (DUI) citations/convictions, and positive alcohol tests above the legal limit (.04%), contingent factors that impact an applicant or employee’s suitability for a safety-sensitive position. Moreover, employers who hold actual knowledge of alcohol or drug violations associated with an employee must file a report through the clearinghouse, documenting the circumstances and witness accounts surrounding the event or, for lack of validating evidence, submit an affidavit coinciding with third party allegations.

The drug and alcohol clearinghouse database is a valuable conduit for the access and release of CDL history records, diffusing extensive information on drug and alcohol testing appropriate to the hiring process and employee reinstatement.

This definition was written in the context of FMSCA
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