Breath Alcohol Testing
Screening your employee’s for illegal and illicit drugs is important, but what about alcohol testing. At Conspire!, we find it equally important to screen your employees for alcohol when necessary.
One of the most important times to screen for alcohol is after an accident. Whether the accident resulted in an injury to the employee or someone else, it is imperative to know if your employee was under the influence of alcohol. This will help you determine if alcohol was the root cause of the accident, and if your company is liable for any damages.
“Workers with alcohol problems were 2.7x more likely to have suffer an injury or related absences” – National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
When it comes to major accidents, we suggest all employees involved be screened for drugs and alcohol, not only the employee who was injured. This is a wise rule to follow, as another employee under the influence could have caused the incident resulting in the other employee’s injury. Be sure your company’s policy includes a formal process to be followed after an accident.
Not sure what to do after an accident?
Another crucial moment to screen employees for alcohol is when there is reasonable suspicion the employee is under the influence of alcohol. As an employer, it is your responsibility to keep everyone (employees and clients) safe. If you smell alcohol on the employee or have reasonable cause to believe the employee is under the influence, you have the right to request an alcohol test.
“Breathalyzer tests detected alcohol in 16% of emergency room patients who were injured at work”
“Hospital emergency room data shows 35% of occupationally injured patients were “at risk” drinkers” – NCADD
We offer training on how to properly handle these situations.
Our machine meets all the requirements to perform federally mandated breath alcohol tests. Any federally mandated test must meet the following criteria:
- Provide printed triplicate results of each test
- Assign a unique number to each completed test. This number can be used to recall and reprint any information on the test. That number must also be printed on the provided results
- Display on each copy of the printed result, the device manufacture’s name, device serial number, and date and time of each test
- Performance of an air blank test, which ensures the instrument is starting from zero and there is not alcohol in the surrounding environment at the time of the test
- Complete an external calibration check. This is performed monthly to ensure the machine is functioning properly
- Ability to differentiate between alcohol and acetone, which can determine if the person was truly impaired or has residual alcohol in their mouth. Residual alcohol can be caused by everyday mouthwash use
The DOT Alcohol Testing rules were promulgated as a result of the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991. This legislation requires that employees who perform safety-sensitive jobs in the aviation, motor carrier, railroad, and mass transit industries be tested for drug and alcohol misuse.
Even if you are not Federally mandated, we suggest using the above criteria in any breath alcohol test that may result in a lawsuit at some point in time.
Urine Alcohol Testing
Alcohol is different from other substances we can test for due to the rapid rate it leaves the body. However, breath is not the only way to tell if there was alcohol in someone’s system.
Many probation agreements require people to be alcohol free and to submit to urine alcohol testing. This test is called an Ethyl Glucuronide, or EtG test. An EtG test is checking urine for ethyl glucuronide, which is the broken down product of ethanol. Ethanol, also called alcohol, causes a chemical reaction in the body, which leads to impairment.
EtG can be found in the urine anywhere from 3-5 days after consumption. The length of time depends on how much the individual had to drink, as well as what they were consuming. Depending on how hydrated the individual stays on a day-to-day basis will also affect how long EtG can be detected for.