Reasons For DOT Alcohol Testing
The Department of Transportation (DOT) may require employers to perform DOT alcohol testing under a variety of circumstances. Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to understand if and when your employees need to be tested, and Conspire! can help you manage the process and ensure you meet all the requirements of Colorado Springs DOT alcohol testing.
- Pre-employment. For alcohol, this testing is optional and at the employers discretion. It may be necessary based on the specific mode requirements.
- Random. Completed quarterly, random alcohol testing is mandated under DOT regulations, but only required for certain DOT Modes.
- Post-accident. This is necessary if an employee is involved in an accident meeting certain DOT criteria. Each mode has its own requirements. The alcohol tests should be completed within 2 hours of the accident, but up to 8 hours post-accident is acceptable.
- Reasonable suspicion. One trained supervisor or company official can make the decision based upon specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations concerning the appearance, behavior, speech, or body odors of the employee. Learn more about reasonable suspicion through Conspire! Corporate Training.
- Follow-up. In addition to other DOT required testing, follow-up tests are done when the employee fails a random or reasonable suspicion alcohol test and the employer decides to keep them on staff. Employees must see a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP), who will determine the number of tests to be completed with the minimum being 6 tests in a 12 month period.
- Return-to-duty. Required after a violation in order to return to any DOT job, employees must be tested. This test occurs following the aforementioned follow-up testing.
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Conspire! DOT Alcohol Testing
Conspire’s! alcohol testing equipment is on the “Conforming Products List”, meeting all DOT requirements. Similar to the breathalyzer equipment used by highway patrol, Conspire! can perform a calibration check, air blank test, screening test, confirmation test, have a number associated to each test, and differentiate between alcohol and acetone.
DOT employees who blow between .02-.039 must be removed from performing safety sensitive duties for 8 hours or until their breath test result is below .020. Commercial motor vehicle drivers having an alcohol concentration in the range of .020 to .039 must be removed from driving for at least 24 hours.
Anything above a .04+ is considered a positive test under DOT regulations. If/when this occurs, the employee is removed from safety sensitive duties and likely permanently relieved of their duties. In some cases, though, the employer can opt to keep the employee who is then sent through the Substance Assistance Program (SAP).