Breath Alcohol Testing

Alcohol may be legal in the United States for employees over the age of 21, but at New Era Drug Testing, we think few employers would want those in their employ ingesting a potentially dangerous depressant before or during working hours. To determine if an employee is under the influence of alcohol while on the job, New Era Drug Testing offers simple, easy, and affordable breath alcohol testing to keep your business DOT-compliant and your workers safe.


When to Test for Alcohol

The Department of Transportation has strict rules and regulations regarding employees that operate motor vehicles or perform safety-sensitive tasks, of course, but the DOT also gives specific instances when it is appropriate and/or required to have an employee tested for alcohol use. These include:


Testing occurs when an employee’s driving is determined to be a factor in an accident or if an employee is involved in an accident that includes a fatality. “Accidents,” in this case, are defined by the Department of Transportation.

Reasonable Suspicion

When a supervisor determines that an employee is exhibiting behavior consistent with alcohol abuse or has reason to believe (i.e. smells alcohol on the employee’s breath) that they have been imbibing alcohol.

Random Sampling

Testing occurs when an employee is randomly selected for a drug test, usually during, before, or after performing a safety-sensitive task.

Return-to-Duty/Follow-Up Testing

Testing involves an alcohol test given to an employee prior to reinstating them to work. Employees should be notified about when these tests will occur, and the DOT requires six tests to be conducted in the first 12 months after the employee returns to performing their duties.

Breath Alcohol Testing Procedures

If an employee is suspected of workplace intoxication, they are required to proceed directly to a DOT-approved testing facility where a certified Breath Alcohol Technician (BAT) will check the employee’s valid photo identification and perform the breath alcohol test using a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-approved device in a private setting. Two tests may be administered at this time: the first, a “screening” breath testing, will determine if the employee’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is .02 or higher; if this initial test is positive, a second test will be conducted to confirm the results.

New Era Drug Testing is here to explain our breath alcohol testing procedures and help you determine how workplace alcohol testing may affect your organization’s policies. Our professionals are well-versed in all of the regulations and rules as set forth by the DOT, FMCSA, FAA, FTA and CPUC. If you have any questions regarding New Era’s alcohol testing services or about your business’ drug and alcohol abuse program, contact us today at 1-800-801-0966.

DOT Compliance Program
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