The Growing Drug & Alcohol Problem With Commercial Drivers

Mak Kelly explains

Every month the DOT clearinghouse publishes their FMCSA drug & alcohol violation statistics. As of January 6th of this year, the program has been in place for 3 years and has become the sole tracking database for driver drug & alcohol test results.

Over the past 3 years there has been a 10% year-over year increase in the quantity of positive drug tests, positive alcohol tests, and positive post-accident drug & alcohol tests.

This is an industry problem that has impacted over 166,000 drivers; and it’s concerning that less than 40,000 of which have completed return to duty programs.

Specific drugs that are key drivers here are marijuana, cocaine, & methamphetamines/amphetamines. Marijuana overshadows other drugs on this list by a long shot. With 8 of the top 12 offending states, having legalized cannabis consumption in their states, accounting for 33% of the national violations.

It’s easier than ever to make a poor judgment call for commercial motor vehicle operator, and our clients are encouraged to have regular conversations with their drivers about the use of drugs, especially cannabis products, especially if they are operating in states that have legalized consumption. It is still federally illegal, and can’t be in their system. Until testing technology has improved reliability, and the DOT has changed their testing criteria, this will continue to be an issue, and continue to be an increasing issue. No real end in sight, we just need to talk to our drivers.

Please note that the information contained in this posting is designed to provide general awareness in regard to the subject matter covered. It is not provided as legal, medical, or tax advice, nor is it intended to address all concerns in your workplace or for public health. No representation is made as to the sufficiency for your specific company’s needs. This post should be reviewed by your legal counsel or tax consultant before use.