Daily dispatch, Feb. 27: CVSA details roadside Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse checks

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Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020: 

CVSA details drug/alcohol Clearinghouse use at roadside
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s updated 2020 North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria is now available. The new criteria go into effect on April 1, 2020. The criteria identify critical vehicle inspection items, and detail just what can be cause to prohibit a motor carrier or driver from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a specified period of time, or until the condition is corrected.

The 2020 version replaces and supersedes all previous versions, CVSA says, and the relatively few changes to this year’s edition of the manual are detailed in this document at the CVSA website. Included among the changes, for instance, are removal of defective sway bars from out of service criteria, removal of references to now disallowed Automatic Onboard Recording Devices from certain OOS criteria, and more.

Perhaps the most significant change has to do with additional out-of-service criteria related to drivers who fail a drug test reported to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new drug and alcohol Clearinghouse database and who are required to complete return-to-duty procedures to get clearance to haul again.

As per a new inspection bulletin available at this link, such drivers’ eligibility information is accessible via law enforcement lookup tools (including FMCSA’s Query Central and the CDLIS database), and drivers as of April 1 will be placed out of service if found to be operating before cleared for duty.

Examine the full spectrum of OOS criteria changes via this link.

Trucking co. employee gets jail time for emissions violations
Brian Mellott was sentenced to six months in prison, one year of supervised release and 50 hours of community service after pleading guilty last year to charges related to violating the Clean Air Act, according to the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General.

Mellott is a former inventory and logistics analyst at Pennsylvania hydraulic fracturing company Rockwater Energy Solutions, which allegedly installed emissions defeat devices in its trucks to bypass state inspection regulations.

DOT OIG says he admitted to “impeding FMCSA’s ability to implement and enforce Pennsylvania’s annual inspection standards for commercial motor vehicles.”