Many motorists feel uneasy when they have to drive near commercial trucks, and they may be wise to exercise vigilance when doing so. While commercial trucks create threats to the public because of their size and weight, they become even more dangerous when the people behind their wheels are under the influence. Because drug and alcohol violations are rising among semi-truck drivers, this is particularly concerning.
Per the Commercial Carrier Journal, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted a Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse in 2020. The clearinghouse tracks substance abuse violations received by commercial truck drivers.
2021 first-quarter findings
So far, findings from the first quarter of 2021 show that more truck drivers have received drug or alcohol violations this year than they did during the same span last year. If current trends continue through the rest of the year, 2021 is going to outpace 2020 for trucker substance abuse violations.
Trucker substance abuse trends
The first quarter of 2021 turned up 14,324 truck driver drug violations and another 367 trucker alcohol violations. Since the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse first took effect in early 2020, more than 69,000 truckers received violations for drug or alcohol-related infractions. More than 57,000 of those infractions involved truck drivers failing drug tests. Nearly 10,000 of them involved truckers refusing to submit to drug tests.
Employers of truck drivers must adhere to certain clearinghouse mandates when it comes to reporting and logging truck driver infractions. Employers that neglect to do so may face sanctions.