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40 estimated that fewer than half of commercial drivers who hol- and drug-testing requirements be allowed to perform test positive or refuse to take a test complete the return-to- safety-sensitive functions. The FMCSA plans to implement duty process. the national database by the end of 2012. According to J.B. Hunt Transport, the primary problem The proposed system will allow authorized FMCSA staff of verification of previous drug and alcohol test results is and state law enforcement personnel to access the data and with drivers failing to disclose their own refusals to take create reports. For purposes of enforcement, the system will the test and with employers that have gone out of business. likely require the expansion of civil penalty enforcement Those drivers who do not complete the return-to-duty pro- authority to cover all DOT service agents. Note that some cess continue to drive, primarily by "job hopping." Job hop- states (Arkansas, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, California, pers test positive with one carrier, stop working for that North Carolina, and Washington) have already enacted reg- carrier, do not go through the return-to-duty process, stop ulations mandating the reporting of positive tests and refus- using drugs for the necessary period of time to test nega- als (GAO 2008). tive on pre-employment tests, and begin working for another carrier, where they may resume using drugs, and the cycle begins anew. DRIVING RECORD NOTATIONS Another category of drivers who are not likely to remove Some states have enacted regulations that place a notation themselves from service after testing positive are owner-oper- on the driving record of commercial drivers who have tested ators. Note that DOT regulations require owner-operators to positive in a drug or alcohol test. DOT took regulatory action participate in a random testing program, which includes other to remove legal barriers allowing states to implement such owner-operators. The random testing pool is typically man- regulations. We have obtained information from North Car- aged by a C/TPA. The exact number of owner-operators is olina, Washington, and Oregon. unknown, making measurement of compliance difficult. In general, those statutes work as follows. The depart- The 2008 GAO report makes a strong case for the useful- ment responsible for the licensing of commercial drivers ness of a national database in reducing the number of driv- must place a notation on the driving record of the driver ers who test positive and continue to drive. Such a national on receipt of notice of a positive result in an alcohol or database would maintain drug and alcohol test positives and drug test. The notation of disqualification is retained on refusals information. Carriers would be required to search the record of the person for a predetermined period, usu- applicants in the database before hiring them. Such an ally 2 or 3 years. approach depends on the level of compliance of carriers in reporting employees' testing data, with some owner-opera- After a positive alcohol or drug test, the driver is noti- tors unlikely to voluntarily provide such data. fied by the department of the pending disqualification. The driver has a predetermined period of time (usually 20 The FMCSA is in the process of developing rules that days) from the day of the notice to request an appeal. If no would mandate reporting requirements for C/TPAs, MROs, request is received within the time period, the disqualifica- and additional parties who participate in the DOT testing tion becomes effective. If the driver requests a hearing, the program. These rules would require that carriers access and disqualification is stayed pending the outcome of the hear- review the relevant information contained in a database to ing. The hearing is typically limited to issues of testing pro- ensure that only drivers in compliance with the DOT alco- cedure and protocol.