Changes to Pre-employment Investigations for Drug and Alcohol Program Violations Now in Effect

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Effective January 6, 2023, one of the categories of questions appearing on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) safety performance history inquiry has been removed. Motor carriers will no longer have to ask former employers questions about Part 382 violations. Part 382 covers controlled substances and alcohol use in testing.

It is important to note that safety performance histories are still required. Motor carriers will still need to contact a driver’s former FMCSA employers from the past three years to confirm the following:

  • General employment verification, typically confirming that the employee worked there, dates of employment, vehicles operated, and the like;
  • DOT crash history within the previous three years. These are accidents as defined in §390.5 and appearing on the former employer’s accident register (§390.15); and
  • Other accidents not qualifying as DOT crashes that the former employer is willing to provide (not mandated to do so). These might be minor fender benders that show a pattern of unsafe driving.
  • Additional questions on the inquiry are only permitted if they do not violate state and federal employment laws.

Violations occurring under Part 382 are captured by the CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. An overlap between the Clearinghouse query and the safety performance history inquiries has existed since the database’s launch in 2020. Effective January 6 of this year, the Clearinghouse will have three years’ worth of recent history compared to what was requested directly from previous employers.

The Clearinghouse contains only information about drivers employed by FMCSA-regulated employers. If a prospective employee was employed by an employer regulated by a Department of Transportation (DOT) agency other than FMCSA (such as the Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Transit Administration or Federal Aviation Administration) during the three-year time frame, prospective employers would still be required to directly request drug and alcohol violation information from those DOT-regulated employers, since this information is not reported to the Clearinghouse.

As active members of the industry, TVC Pro-Driver will continue to stay on top of transportation topics and changes that may impact your company and drivers. 

Protecting your fleet has never been more affordable