Commercial trucks are common on Texas roadways, and it takes a high degree of responsibility and attention to driving these large, heavy vehicles safely. Yet, research shows that the number of commercial truck drivers using drugs on the job is on the rise, raising questions about how to fix the problem and how it impacts public safety.
Per Employment Screening Resources, the number of commercial truck drivers who received drug violations between January of 2021 and August of 2021 rose almost 13% when compared with the same stretch of time last year.
Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse efforts
In early 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration created a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which is a database that logs and tracks alcohol and drug violations given to commercial truck drivers. Trucking companies must meet certain compliance requirements when it comes to reporting violations and running the names of new hires in the database. If they fail to do so, they may face fines and other repercussions.
Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse findings
Since the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse first took effect in January of 2020, there have been 95,740 truck drivers logged in it due to positive drug tests. Most of the truckers who received drug violations received them in one of three drug categories. Infractions also increased within all three drug categories.
Once a truck driver receives a drug infraction in the clearinghouse, he or she must undergo a return-to-duty protocol and take tests before he or she may drive professionally again. As of August of 2021, there were almost 70,000 truck drivers with positive drug tests who had not yet completed the return-to-duty process.