Avoiding commercial trucks when driving in California is not realistic. However, it may serve motorists well to exercise extreme care and vigilance when traveling near them. The number of truck drivers who use drugs or alcohol while working is increasing. This is troubling given that drug and alcohol use has the potential to have a serious impact on driving ability.
Per the Commercial Carrier Journal, the number of commercial truck drivers who received violations for drugs or alcohol within the first quarter of 2021 is higher than that seen within the same span in 2020.
Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse details
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse early last year. The clearinghouse has several goals. It looks to identify trucking industry professionals who abuse substances on the job. It also seeks to keep them off the roads until they take certain actions to better themselves. Once truckers receive violations in the clearinghouse, they may not return to duty until they take a series of predetermined steps.
Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse findings
During the first quarter of 2021, the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse turned up 367 alcohol infractions among truck drivers. It also revealed more than 14,400 drug-related trucker infractions. While truckers who received drug violations did so after using a range of different substances, marijuana-related violations were the most common. The clearinghouse showed 37,261 marijuana-positive trucker drug tests throughout the first three months of 2021. Cocaine was the second-most abused drug among commercial truckers in the first quarter of 2021. The trucking industry saw 9,848 drug tests that were positive for cocaine during this time.
Companies that employ truck drivers have to follow certain reporting and screening mandates with regard to the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.