Controlled Substances and Alcohol Testing: State Driver's Licensing Agency Non-Issuance/Downgrade of Commercial Driver's License
FMCSA is amending its regulations to establish requirements for State Driver's Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) to access and use information obtained through the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (DACH or Clearinghouse), an FMCSA-administered database containing driver- specific controlled substance (drug) and alcohol records. SDLAs must not issue, renew, upgrade, or transfer a commercial driver's license (CDL), or commercial learner's permit (CLP), as applicable, for any individual prohibited under FMCSA's regulations from performing safety- sensitive functions, including driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), due to one or more drug and alcohol program violations. Further, SDLAs must remove the CLP or CDL privilege from the driver's license of an individual subject to the CMV driving prohibition, which would result in a downgrade of the license until the driver complies with return-to-duty (RTD) requirements. This rule also requires States receiving Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) grant funds to adopt a compatible CMV driving prohibition applicable to CLP and CDL holders who violate FMCSA's drug and alcohol program requirements and makes clarifying and conforming changes to current regulations. The final rule will help keep unsafe drivers off the road by increasing compliance with the CMV driving prohibition.