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As you travel alongside tractor trailers on the road, you may assume that the truck driver operating the massive vehicle is property trained, licensed and qualified to be driving the big rig. This, however, is not always true. Negligent truck drivers, who are drunk, distracted, unlicensed or have other moving violations, put other peoples’ lives at risk every day in Indiana and across the U.S. In an attempt to decrease the number of people who lose their lives in large truck accidents each year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has created a Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

The clearinghouse is essentially a national database where trucking companies and law enforcement can reference the credentials and past violations of truck drivers. Once the database is put into use, employers, substance abuse professionals, medical review officers, and other service agencies will have access to the information. Before employers are able to hire new truck drivers, they will be required to check the database for any drug, alcohol or outstanding moving violations. Companies will also be required to search every year for their current employees.

Companies will be able to see if the truck driver has a current CDL license, has ever been charged with a drug and/or alcohol violation, has received a traffic citation, or has refused to take a drug and/or alcohol test. The database will also show if people have received help through drug and alcohol treatment programs. The program could help to keep unqualified truck drivers off of the streets and lower the risk of a potential catastrophic car accident.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice. 

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