New regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are being adopted by local school districts, whose bus drivers will be affected.

The new guidelines hold those with commercial driving licenses accountable to a broader degree by implementing a Clearinghouse, a registrar that records and notifies of driver infractions related to alcohol or drug use.

Schools have to update their policies to notify employees that their actions, including refusal to submit to a drug or alcohol test, positive drug or alcohol test results, and adulterated drug test results, will be reported to a federal database. If a CDL holder has more than one job, all employers will be notified of any action reported.

New guidelines also provide stricter requirements for employers to conduct random drug testing. Previously, the FMCSA had a minimum random drug testing requirement of 25% of the average number of driver positions, and 10% for random alcohol testing.

As of Jan. 1, the agency increased the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing to 50% of the average number of drivers.

The tougher regulations should hold CDL holders to a higher degree of accountability and prevent potential drug and alcohol use that could affect their jobs.

Chalk Talk, an education notebook compiled by education beat reporter Sable Riley, appears in the Dothan Eagle and at DothanEagle.com

Chalk Talk, an education notebook compiled by education beat reporter Sable Riley, appears each weekend in the Dothan Eagle and at DothanEagle.com

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