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Impaired truckers subject of federal rule

People in Missouri who are concerned about drunk drivers have good reason to worry. Despite many decades of high public awareness about the dangers of driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs, too many innocent lives continue to be lost at the hands of selfish and reckless impaired drivers. In some cases, these drivers are commercially licensed to operate extremely large vehicles like semi trucks.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been working on a plan designed to directly address impaired driving among truckers. The goal is to prevent a drunk or drugged trucker from being behind the wheel of these big rigs. One way the FMCSA has been trying to do this is with the initiation of what it calls the drug and alcohol clearinghouse rule. This rule outlines plan for a database to be created that houses results from substance tests.

When a driver applies for a job, they will be required to take a substance test. The result of that test whether a pass or a fail will be reported to the database. A refusal to take the test will also be reported. If a driver fails or refuses a test, they may not be allowed to be hired for the job that they applied for. State agencies that issue licenses have also been required to review the database when a person applies for a new, transferred, renewed or upgraded commercial driving license.

According to Transport Topics, however, if a state agency finds that a driver has failed a drug or alcohol test, they were not provided the authority to refuse a license in the original FMCSA rule. An amendment to the rule is said to be in the works.


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