Those who drive trucks across Maryland and the rest of the nation for a living need to maintain a high degree of responsibility. However, research shows that many commercial truck drivers neglect to do so. The truck driving profession is often a lonely and difficult one. Sometimes, truck drivers find themselves turning to alcohol or drugs as a result.
According to the Commercial Carrier Journal, the number of semi-truck drivers who abuse drugs and alcohol on the job is increasing. If the trends recorded throughout the first three months of 2021 continue for the rest of the year, 2021’s truck driver substance abuse infractions are going to outpace those seen in 2020.
The Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse
In early 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration launched a Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse to cut back on substance abuse across the industry. Trucking companies must register their truck drivers within the clearinghouse. They also have an obligation to report it when their workers receive substance abuse violations.
The clearinghouse has revealed concerning information about the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse among truck drivers. Since the clearinghouse’s inception in early 2020, there have been 69,100 substance abuse violations logged within it. Almost 10,000 of those violations came from truckers who refused to take drug tests. Data from the first three months of 2021 also revealed that, during that span, there were 367 alcohol violations and 14,234 drug violations logged in the clearinghouse.
Receiving a drug or alcohol violation does not mean a trucker automatically loses his or her job. Rather, it means that driver must follow certain return-to-service protocols before doing so.