Question – We received a call from the collection site that one of our DOT drivers had a confirmed Breath Alcohol Test (BAT) level of 0.02 and that someone needed to come and pick him up. What is the employer’s responsibility?
Answer – If your DOT driver had a confirmed BAT of 0.02 or greater but less then 0.04 the driver must be temporarily removed from performing safety-sensitive functions for the employer until the start of the driver’s next scheduled duty period, but must be at least 24 hours following the administration of the test. Regarding the collection site requesting the employee to be picked up, this is a safety and legal precaution, not a DOT requirement. Some employers have chosen to either have a supervisor, co-worker, or driver’s family member drive the employee home, or required the driver to call a taxi at the driver’s expense. This would be a company supervisor’s decision and again can be written into the company policy as to the procedure to be followed. DOT regulations does state no employer shall take any action under this part against a driver based solely on test results showing an alcohol concentration less than 0.04. This does not prohibit an employer with authority independent of this part from taking any action otherwise consistent with law. In other words, it would be up to the employer’s discretion and what is written in the company policy as to the consequences of the employee’s actions. Bear in mind if a DOT driver receives a confirmed alcohol test result of 0.04 or higher, you must immediately remove the employee involved from performing safety-sensitive functions until the driver successfully completes the return-to-duty process.