2023 DOT Updates

Pre-employment Investigations

It has now been three years since the FMCSA Clearinghouse came into being, with all FMCSA DOT violations to the drug and alcohol regulations being posted within it. This means that for employers following 49 CFR 391.23(e) they are now able to find all of the FMCSA violation information, for the past three years (as required), within the Clearinghouse. There is no longer any need to contact previous employers to make these inquiries, all violations will have been entered into the Clearinghouse.

It must be noted, however, that if the employee has worked for another DOT agency, such as the FRA, FTA, or FAA, the employer will still be required to directly request violation information from those employers, as it will NOT be listed in the FMCSA Clearinghouse database.

Random Drug Testing Rates

Every year each DOT agency, which regulates its specific transportation industry, sets the random testing rate for their agency. The rates can stay them same, or be increased or decreased. These changes, if they occur, are based on the information reported from the drug and alcohol Management Information System (MIS) form which is required by the 49 CFR Part 40, as well as any other indicators such as violation reports to the Clearinghouse for the FMCSA, for example.

These random testing rates are the minimum yearly requirements for each agency respectively. For example, if an agency has a minimum requirement of 50% for drug testing, and 10% for alcohol testing it would mean that an employer with 100 employees working in safety-sensitive positions would have to make sure that 50 employees were randomly chosen for drug testing, and 10 were randomly chosen for alcohol testing, in that year.

This year all of the alcohol testing rates for each of the agencies has remained the same, however the drug testing rate has changed for the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The PHMSA’s annual random drug testing rate will now be 25% in 2023.

Enforcement Discretion for SAPs

This update is regarding amendments to the requirement for Substance Abuse Professionals to conduct their assessments in person, as part of the return-to-duty process. As per the 49 CFR ยงยง 40. 291, 40.293, and 40.301, SAPs are directed to conduct all return-to-duty assessments interviews face-to-face, for those employees who have violated the DOT drug and/or alcohol regulations.

This requirement was amended by ODAPC during the COVID-19 public health emergency as they recognized that it was often simply not viable for these assessments to occur face-to-face. So, on April 4, 2020 ODAPC issued a Statement of Enforcement Discretion to allow remote “face-to-face” assessments, and then, extended this allowance several times in the following years.

The DOT and ODAPC issued a new statement of enforcement discretion, which became effective Jan. 1, 2023. As was initially stated in the original Statement of Enforcement Discretion, the choice to conduct remote assessments is completely voluntary, and SAPs are able to continue conducting in-person assessments as they see fit.

One response to “2023 DOT Updates

  1. Matthew Mcentyre we didn't get this far if the American trucker needed to be fixed. Fmcsa is a bunch of fast talking tax robing slave driving side walking sissies that don't know a man from a woman says:

    I was entered into the clearing house for a failed pre employment drug test in which I never worked for this company nor have I ever applied for a job with them also the company that is responsible for this never did a pre employment inquiry into the clearing house . Now tell me why to no avail I’ve been put out of work for 18 months and nobody can correct this. They just say u can’t dispute the accuracy of the test u can only dispute the accuracy of the information entered. Wow that is the whole problem in a nut shell. Regulations work hand in hand and only work properly if u enforce the total surrounding Regulations. In this case looking in from the outside anyone could come to the conclusion that the so called violation doesn’t follow DOT test requirements meaning by what authority was the test given under. To be more clearly what job was applied for no job was applied for so no DOT drug test was valid and more so Regulations governing pre employment DOT drug test where not followed. Why was the test given no job was applied for its real simple that violation is violating my liberty to provide for my family. And some how and a bunch of undisputable bull shit will follow the reason it’s stays on my record. People u better wake up because that AI is not working with a a higher state of consciousness it’s working with get the job at hand finished fast as possible. One mistake and we all will be silenced by the the woke I mean the joke of a system. Real issues take real people to correct them.

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