Friday, November 4, 2011

DOT Training and Reasonable Suspicion Tip 6: “Who me?! Do I look drunk to you?”

Here is another tip for you to consider in your DOT Training for Supervisors.
Maybe you can’t walk straight when you’re intoxicated, but plenty of other people can. And one of them might be your employee. An employee may be “plastered” but not show it. The only indication of intoxication may be alcohol on the breath.

Alcoholics and drug addicts who drink, characteristically has high tolerance—the ability to consume large quantities of alcohol or drugs and not appear intoxicated. An alcoholic employee with alcohol on his breath could be two to three times over the “legal” limit, but could appear unaffected.

By letting yourself be talked out of documenting and testing for intoxication, you’re being manipulated.

If you’re worried about insufficient documentation, don’t forget that if you smell alcohol, then you have sufficient reasonable suspicion to refer to testing. You’re organization’s drug testing policy is written to protect you and the organization, even if there is a false test later. So don’t back off. Even if you turn out to be wrong, you were right. You made the right call.