Drug and Alcohol Violations Equal CDL Downgrades

Effective November 18, 2024, commercial vehicle drivers in a “prohibited” status in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will lose their commercial driving privileges unless they complete the return-to-duty (RTD) process. The “prohibited” Clearinghouse status means that a person holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) has engaged in the prohibited use of drugs or alcohol or has refused a drug or alcohol test and therefore cannot legally operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

When the Clearinghouse began operations in January 2020, all state driver licensing agencies (state DMVs) were required to check the Clearinghouse data when issuing, renewing, transferring or upgrading CDLs or CLPs. Upon finding a CMV driver in the “prohibited” status, some states followed their own state laws and downgraded the commercial license to a non-commercial license. As a result of an FMCSA rulemaking dubbed “Clearinghouse II,” effective November 2024, all states must automatically downgrade CDLs and CLPs in those instances. State agencies will similarly refuse to issue a new commercial license to a driver in the Clearinghouse “prohibited” status.

Drivers must complete the return-to-duty (RTD) process to avoid the license downgrade and then seek reinstatement of their CLD or CLP. FMCSA outlines the RTD process steps in its Return-To-Duty Quick Reference Guide. For more RTD information, visit FMCSA's Clearinghouse website

Supreme Court Overturns “Chevron Doctrine”

10 July 2024

Anyone who has been in business for any length of time can cite a number of times that federal regulatory agencies have had a free hand in regulating businesses such as trucking. That is why carriers and other industries that want a fair fight to challenge regulations in the future may have been given a gift from the U.S. Supreme Court June 28.

Miss the Deadline to Challenge a Regulation?

10 July 2024

This session, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Chevron doctrine, a longstanding policy under which lower courts almost always sided with regulatory agency decisions where the intent of Congress was not clear. Overturning Chevron opened the door, many legal experts believe, to allowing challenges against many existing regulations.