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Positive drug tests up for commercial vehicle drivers: Report


The number of times a commercial vehicle driver tested positive for drugs increased in 2022, with positive marijuana tests making up the bulk of the increase, according to a federal transportation survey.

Commercial drivers tested positive for delta-9 THC, the ingredient in cannabis that causes a psychotropic ‘high,’ 40,916 times in 2022, up from 29,511 in 2020 and 31,085 in 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse December 2022 report.

Commercial drivers tested positive for cocaine 10,953 times in 2022 and methamphetamine 5,569 times, according to the report.

Illicit drugs were not the only identifiable substances leading to positive drug test outcomes according to the report; commercial drivers also tested positive for prescription medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine.

The most positive drug results came from Texas, with California and Florida rounding out the top three states.

The clearinghouse is a federal database that offers information to employers, drivers licensing agencies and law enforcement officials about drug and alcohol safety violations in the commercial transportation sector.

Drivers with violations in the clearinghouse must be removed from “safety-sensitive” functions, which include operating a commercial vehicle, according to the report. Drivers are permitted to return to work after completing a return-to-duty process.   

The report showed that 120,345 commercial drivers currently in “prohibited” status, preventing them from driving.