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Clearinghouse Data Report: What Drivers are Testing Positive For
5 mins read

The DOT Clearinghouse isn’t going away anytime soon, and neither are the violations reported to it. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has released the latest Clearinghouse Monthly Summary Report, which includes data on the drug and alcohol violations reported through January 2022. Let’s dive into some of the most noteworthy stats. 

  • The total number of unique CDL/CLP holders queried in the 2022 calendar year so far is 498,496. 
  • Within those queries, there were 4,873 overall drug and alcohol violations for January 2022, which is higher than the 4,198 in January 2021 and 3,758 in January 2020.  
  • Positive drug tests account for 82% of the total violations reported.  

What substances are drivers testing positive for the most? 

The top five drugs and the number of times drivers tested positive for each substance through January 2022 are as follows: 

  1. Marijuana – 3,666 
  2. Cocaine – 1,032 
  3. Methamphetamine – 579  
  4. Amphetamine – 540  
  5. Oxymorphone – 116 

So far, this year’s data is on track with what has been found during the past two years, with each of these drugs remaining the most-used substances. Marijuana’s number one spot on the list unfortunately isn’t surprising, especially with the confusion surrounding its legality in the United States.

It’s important to remind drivers that even though many states have legalized the use of marijuana for various purposes, it is not federally mandated, which leaves it illegal for CDL/CPL holders to use and operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

Read: Marijuana and CBD Use is On the Rise: Here’s What You Need to Know 

What should employers take away from this?  

Drug and alcohol use in CDL/CLP holders is on the rise, which means fleets everywhere are at risk for major Clearinghouse violations, including yours. 

It’s no longer an option to ignore the signs of drug or alcohol abuse in the workplace. In fact, April is National Alcohol Awareness Month – the perfect time to discuss these issues and remove the stigma surrounding alcohol use. But how can you do so? 

One way you can take the initiative with your employees is by reviewing your drug and alcohol testing policy in an approachable manner. Make sure your fleet understands what happens if/when someone tests positive for any substance, the steps they’ll need to take in order to get back in the driver’s seat, and how this can severely impact their license and career. 

And if your drivers have questions? Even better. This shows they’re fully engaged in the conversation. Encouraging an open-door discussion policy is the best way to ensure your employees feel seen, heard, and comfortable – and that applies to other matters outside of drug and alcohol use, too. 

The goal isn’t to always have an “iron fist” approach (unless you’ve had success with it), but rather to establish a firm, yet clear understanding of the consequences of your drivers’ decisions. After all, using drugs or drinking and driving is a choice, but they can both be coping mechanisms for much bigger problems. 

How can compliant drug and alcohol testing work for you? 

Of course, having a concrete drug and alcohol testing program in place as a part of your policy is vital. Showing your employees that you take drug and alcohol violations seriously may help discourage them from using these substances and putting other drivers – and themselves – in danger. 

The Clearinghouse data report also showed the highest number of positive test results or refusals were pre-employment drug tests and random alcohol tests. By using Foley’s comprehensive DOT-compliant drug and alcohol testing process, you can conduct both types of tests, as well as post-accident, return-to-duty, and reasonable suspicion tests, to stay on track.  

You can get a free demo of the Foley platform today or speak with our knowledgeable compliance specialists to get started. We know that precious lives are on the line, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

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