DOT Reasonable Suspicion Supervisor Training - Alcohol

SKU: C-1003Duration: 61 Minutes

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Language:  English

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Course Details


Training Time: 61 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on: 49 CFR Part 40

Languages: English

Transportation employees of DOT-regulated employers who perform tasks that have been defined as "safety-sensitive" are subject to drug and alcohol testing. This includes "reasonable suspicion" testing, which is required when a properly trained supervisor suspects that an employee is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs based on the employee's appearance, behavior, speech, or smell. Supervisors and company officials who may need to make a "reasonable suspicion" test determination are required to complete at least 1 hour of training on the signs and symptoms of alcohol misuse. This course describes the purpose of DOT testing regulations, defines "reasonable suspicion," lists the signs and symptoms of alcohol use, and describes best practices for conducting reasonable suspicion interviews and alcohol testing.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • State the purpose of U.S. DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations
  • Describe who is subject to U.S. DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations
  • Identify the components of a DOT-compliant Drug and Alcohol Policy
  • Describe the six types of DOT-mandated drug and alcohol testing, including reasonable suspicion testing
  • Define "reasonable suspicion"
  • List the signs and symptoms of alcohol use that can be used to make a reasonable suspicion test determination
  • Describe best practices for conducting reasonable suspicion interviews and alcohol testing
  • List the consequences of a positive breath alcohol test result and refusal to test

Key Questions

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What types of tests are used to test employees for alcohol use?
A breath test is normally used, though in some cases, a saliva or blood test may be used.

Do DOT regulations only apply to the misuse of beer, wine, spirits, and other alcoholic beverages?
No. The misuse of cough syrup, mouthwash, and other alcohol-containing ingestibles can also endanger workers and the public, so DOT regulations also apply to these.

Why do DOT regulations refer to the "misuse of alcohol" and the "use of drugs"?
This difference stems from the fact that while alcohol use is legal in the U.S., the use of the DOT-designated drug classes is not.

What other types of drug and alcohol tests does the DOT require of safety-sensitive transportation workers?
These workers must also submit to DOT-mandated pre-employment, random, post-accident, return-to-duty, and follow-up drug and alcohol tests.

What happens if an employee refuses to submit to a breath alcohol test?
The DOT considers a refusal to test equivalent to a positive test result, and the consequences are the same.

Sample Video Transcript

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

DOT regulations state that transportation employees who are currently performing, or are assigned to perform, safety-sensitive functions must not use or test positive for alcohol: •For four hours before they perform a safety-sensitive function •While they perform the function •Up to 8 hours following an accident or until the employee undergoes a post-accident test, whichever occurs first Additionally, employees must not report for work or perform work if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.04 or higher. If their blood alcohol concentration is 0.02 to 0.039, DOT Agencies have different requirements, though they all prohibit employees from resuming their safety-sensitive duties right away. In some cases, employees may be required to wait a specified amount of time; in other cases, they might not be permitted to work until their next regularly scheduled shift.

Additional Resources

Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:

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