As many of you are aware the ELD (Electronic Logging Device) mandate took effect in December of 2017 with enforcement of out of service criteria taking effect April 1, 2018. The next mandate to take effect for road safety is the federal CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. This clearinghouse will provide a database of drivers that have failed or refused a drug or alcohol test. The mandate takes effect in January 2020. The Clearinghouse will record all drug test failures conducted for pre-employment screenings, random drug tests and post-crash test to the Clearinghouse. Carriers are required to submit failed drug tests and to query the database before hiring drivers to ensure they have not failed a drug test in the previous three years. The mandate begins with drivers registering in the Clearinghouse giving their consent to carriers to query the database for their records. Registration is set for October for any driver looking for a new job in 2020.
The potential impact to the available driver pool is still being developed. Will this increase retention for carriers? Will we lose available drivers to positive tests? What has been a consensus is that the CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will have a slower impact to driver capacity than the ELD Mandate as drivers look for a new job and register in the database. Societal and legal challenges are increasing as state marijuana use laws coming into conflict with federal drug use law. The challenge here is the residual trace of marijuana in a drivers system up to 30 days. The LTL carriers are feeling this impact now in markets such as Denver where positive tests in marijuana usage are limiting operational capability of the local terminals. The exception is owner-operators who will not be required to register since they do not go through a hiring process with a carrier.