Revolving Door in Big Rig Drug Screening

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Truck Drivers Who Fail Drug Tests Are Often Still Able to Get Behind The Wheel

The hazards associated with driving a 30-ton vehicle down the highway under the influence of drugs are obvious.

According to Terry M. Evans, CEO of Fleet Defender, LLC, in the present era truckers who are addicts are also ripe targets for corruption by terrorist operatives. They may use their truck or bus in an act of terrorism or simply hand over their CDL or the keys to their rig in exchange for money or drugs, or they may be blackmailed into cooperating.

When a truck driver fails to pass a drug test, many people assume that the driver's CDL license will be automatically suspended or revoked and he will no longer be a menace on the road, but that is all too often not the case. While the intent is to make this a career-ending experience, serious loopholes in the drug testing program mean the failing driver may continue on without missing a beat.

When hiring new drivers, companies rely on a clearinghouse such as DAC to provide information on past job experience, generally including reasons for termination such as failing a drug test. However, a prospective driver can attend a company orientation program, fail the drug screening and be dismissed, and this will never appear on his DAC report since at this point he was never actually hired. The failing driver can then go down the street and apply to the next trucking company without revealing his contact with the previous employer.

Furthermore, if such drug test failures do not show up in a DAC report, the information is generally lost, since failed drug testing is not reportable to DOT or a licensing office unless the result of contact with law or regulatory enforcement. And companies that do not use DAC will never see them anyway. However, DAC was never meant to be a verification tool for drug testing. It is simply a clearinghouse for driver job experience.

According to Mr. Evans, one solution to combat this would be a national CDL license, or at least a national CDL driver data bank. Failed drug testing by a driver with a CDL should be reported to some kind of governmental office having the ability to suspend the license and keep the driver off the road. For further information, please visit http://www.fleetdefender.com.

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