Drunk driving is a penalized crime and as we all know, it is also illegal and often times fatal. The potential of accidents and injury is higher if an employee driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The laws and rules of the road enforce penalties, and those law enforcers look to create public awareness and education in order to help prevent tragedies before they occur. In addition, they also monitor the proper DOT guidelines to be fulfilled by all parties which include physicians, employers, and commercial drivers.
To help employers detect whether or not an employee is under the influence of alcohol, medical clinics such as I & O, are in place to determine breath alcohol content (BAC) for any employee requiring DOT certification. Our clinics use the same equipment as the State Police to determine the level of intoxication, this is what is used for the Breath Alcohol Testing. A BAT reading of 0.02% to 0.03% on the first and second test is considered positive, and can lead to a 24-hour suspension in many regulated associations or road governing entities. If an employee has a BAT reading of 0.04% or higher, help from a substance abuse professional may be required.
If reasonable suspicion occurs, testing can be ordered by a supervisor for the suspected employee whom may be under the influence. It is best to have the supervisor drive the employee to the clinic for the Breath alcohol testing. We also suggest that employers have their drug and alcohol policies set up in their lobbies and break rooms for all employees to view. Most employers may utilize an EAP which is an employee assisted program, designed to help an employee in their time of need. This action alone, can help prevent small problems from becoming even bigger ones.