Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.
Seventy-seven bus and truck drivers are banned from operating commercial motor vehicles and 84 commercial carriers face enforcement charges as a result of the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) first national drug and alcohol strike force. During a 10-day period in September, FMCSA safety investigators examined the drug and alcohol safety records of commercial drivers employed by bus companies, including school bus drivers, interstate passenger carriers, hazardous material transporters and general freight long-haul trucking companies. This enforcement action is the first time that the FMCSA has ever proactively looked for operators and drivers that violate the agency’s drug and alcohol regulations.
In a DOT press release, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said: “Violators of our drug and alcohol policies have no business driving a commercial vehicle. Programs like the drug and alcohol strike force are helping remove the most dangerous offenders from our roadways.” As a result of the strike force, the cited commercial drivers face civil penalties in addition to being prevented from operating commercial vehicles. The targeted employers are subject to charges that they unlawfully used a driver that has tested positive for illegal drugs and for not instituting a drug and alcohol program, among other violations. According to the FMCSA, among the goals of the strike force is to “identify motor carriers in violation of federal drug and alcohol testing requirements and to remove from the road commercial truck and bus drivers who jump from carrier to carrier to try and evade federal drug and alcohol testing and reporting requirements.”