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Alcohol Testing Procedures

This summary provides an overview of the way alcohol tests must be conducted.

Testing Devices

Tests must be conducted with evidential breath test devices (EBTs) approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Screening Tests

A Breath Alcohol Technician (BAT) administers the test. The employee's supervisor may not administer the test unless that employee's supervisor is the only available qualified BAT.


An individually sealed mouthpiece must be opened in view of the employee and attached to the EBT. The employee blows forcefully into the mouthpiece for at least six seconds, or until an adequate amount of breath has been obtained.

If the result is under 0.02, the BAT records the result and no further testing is performed.

Confirmation Tests

The confirmation test is conducted at least 15 minutes but no more than 20 minutes after the screening test.

Before the confirmation test, a test is run (air blank) to make sure the EBT is working properly.

If the screening and confirmation test results are different, the confirmation test result is the one that is used.

Inability to provide an adequate amount of breath

An employee who does not provide enough breath for the test is sent to a physician who evaluates the employee's medical ability to provide an adequate amount of breath. If the doctor is unable to find a medical explanation for the employee's failure to provide enough breath, the employee will be considered to have refused to take a test, which is prohibited in these rules.

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