Drivers, carriers and medical review officers (MROs) could be fined up to $5,833 for each violation of any provisions within the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, according to the latest directive from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
DOT issued a final rule on Monday that implements the authority of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to assess civil penalties for violations of the Clearinghouse, at 49 CFR part 382 subpart G of the code of federal regulations.
“Any employer, employee, medical review officer, or service agent who violates any provision of 49 CFR part 382, subpart G … is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $5,833,” the rule states.
That amount is more than double the $2,500 per violation that was outlined in much of the guidance issued by nongovernment entities in both the lead-up and implementation of the Clearinghouse over the past two years.
A DOT official explained that $2,500 was set for violations pertaining to commercial driver’s licenses in a statute established more than 30 years ago. “The statutory amount hasn’t changed since 1986, but in another statute, Congress requires the [FMCSA] to pass a regulation every year to update that amount for inflation,” the official told FreightWaves.
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