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Pre-Duty Alcohol Use – DOT Regulated Alcohol Testing

Pre-Duty Alcohol Use – DOT Regulated Alcohol Testing

truck driver drinking

Just a quick reminder about an often overlooked D.O.T. regulation regarding the use of alcohol prior to performing safety sensitive duties in the workplace.

For organizations subject to federal regulations (Drug/Alcohol Drug Free Workplace programs). The D.O.T. prohibits employees from performing safety sensitive duties when they consumed alcohol in any form as per the following schedule:

FMCSA: 4 hours after using alcohol

FAA: FAA prohibits alcohol use 8 hours prior to performance of flight crew member duties, flight attendant duties and air traffic controller duties and 4 hours prior to performing other duties.

FTA: 4 hours after using alcohol

PHMSA: Prohibits alcohol use 4 hours prior to performance of duty.

USCG: The USCG prohibits alcohol use 4 hours prior to performance of scheduled duty.

Employers who are aware that an employee has consumed alcohol within the prohibited time frame and still allow the employee to perform their safety sensitive function are in violation of federal regulations. 

Beverages containing alcohol are widely advertised, inexpensive, and readily available. They are often sold at liquor stores, gas stations, grocery stores, and similar retail establishments. Drinking alcohol is widely accepted in the U.S. Beverages containing alcohol are frequently served at meals, social gatherings, sporting events, and celebrations. It’s easy to see how employees and employers may forget the nuances of their federal alcohol testing program. Now is as good of time as any to remind employees about these restrictions.


Sources: Dept of Transportation