The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has identified nearly 300 commercial truck and bus drivers who continued driving after testing positive for drugs or alcohol.The IDs were made during the FMCSA's annual "Drug and Alcohol Inspection Strike Force" and the drivers were ordered off the road.

In addition to citing 287 drivers, the FMCSA instituted enforcement actions against 128 companies for allegedly failing to adhere to federal drug and alcohol rules.

An FMCSA official, speaking on background, told Bus & Motorcoach News that agency investigators conducted 297 reviews of truck and bus companies from April 30 through May 11.

The agency specifically targeted drug and alcohol testing facilities, as well as motor carriers, which had identified drivers as testing positive for drug and alcohol noncompliance.

That information was compared with compliance data in the FMCSA Driver Information Resource database to determine whether drivers had continued driving after testing positive for drugs or alcohol.

The 128 companies' principal sin appears to have been that they either hired or continued using drivers who had tested positive for illegal drugs, they did not have a drug-and-alcohol testing program, or they did not have a recovery-and-return program.

The commercial drivers identified in the probe face the prospect of a monetary fine and being barred from operating a commercial motor vehicle for failing to adhere to drug and alcohol regulations.

The 128 truck and bus companies face enforcement actions that can include civil fines.

"Removing these dangerous drivers from the roads helps save lives and sends a strong signal that we will not tolerate negligent commercial drivers and companies that violate federal alcohol and drug safety standards," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro.

Information provided by the FMCSA on the investigation did not break down figures, so there is no way of knowing how many of the companies were motorcoach operators and how many of the drivers were coach drivers.