Driving a commercial truck for a living requires a high degree of responsibility. Yet, recent data shows that many American truck drivers are taking unnecessary risks behind the wheel. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration now maintains a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse that logs truck driver substance infractions. The clearinghouse seeks to keep offenders off the nation’s roads until they take steps to better themselves.
Per the Commercial Carrier Journal, the clearinghouse became active in early 2020. The results from the first quarter of 2021 are now available.
Trucker substance abuse facts and figures
If the trends seen during the first three months of 2021 continue until year’s end, the number of semi-truck drivers who received drug or alcohol infractions this year is going to significantly outpace that seen in 2020. The clearinghouse reported 367 alcohol violations and 14,234 drug violations between the beginning of January and the end of March in 2021.
Trucker substance abuse infractions
Many truckers who have substance abuse infractions detailed in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse received them after refusing to take a drug test. Others received them after taking a drug test that had a positive result. Most truckers who received alcohol infractions received them after either submitting to a random breath or blood test or because someone conducted such a test after suspecting a trucker was abusing substances.
Truckers who have their violations logged in the clearinghouse have to follow a strict return-to-duty protocol if they wish to continue driving trucks for a living.