Oct. 19 – California will close some loopholes that let drug-using drivers slip through the drug and alcohol testing process, under a bill recently signed by Gov. Pete Wilson.
Sponsored by the California Trucking Assn., the law established a 17-member task force to be made up of representatives from the trucking industry, labor and state government. The task force’s job is to come up with ways to close the loopholes by next year.
“Our members have had direct experience with drivers ending up working as truck drivers where they had a history of a positive test,” says Warren Hoemann, vice president of CTA. Hoemann says one of the biggest loopholes happens when a drug-using driver, given notice that his time for a random drug test has come, simply quits that trucking company and heads down the road to another company. “The new trucking company is not required by law to give a pre-employment test to a driver that just came from a drug-testing regime,” Hoemann says.
The CTA originally had wanted the legislation to call for the CDL suspension of any driver who avoids or fails a drug or alcohol test, but that faced too much resistance from organized labor.