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FHWA Looks At Post-Accident Alcohol Testing

January 29, 1999

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Should law enforcement conduct federally mandated post-accident alcohol tests of truck and bus drivers? That’s the question to be explored in a new study being conducted by the Federal Highway Administration.

Post-accident testing is currently the responsibility of a driver’s employer and, to some extent, drivers themselves. Rules allow up to eight hours to perform the test, but if it’s not administered within two hours after the accident, reasons must be documented and kept on file.
This study, mandated by Congress, will consider shifting some of the responsibility to law enforcement officers. Many feel this will not only relieve the burden for carriers, but also assure more timely information.
FHWA has asked for public comment on two main issues: the impact of current post-accident testing requirements on employers, and the feasibility of using law enforcement officers for post-accident testing.
Comments may be submitted up to completion of the study, but to be considered during early critical stages, they must be received in writing by March 29. For more information contact Dr. Alfred Barrington, (617) 494-2018, or see the Jan. 27, 1999, Federal Register, pages 4173-4174, available at http://www.access.gpo.gov.

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