What Is Breath Alcohol Test and Why Is It Important for Organization?


There are various types of employment-related drug and alcohol tests used by the employees. One of these tests involves a breath alcohol test. Alcohol breath testing defines the level of alcohol consumption present in your blood by measuring exhaling content. Employers choose this test for pre-and post-employment screening in most cases due to its faster and more accurate results. As per the expert’s recommendation, while recruiting, the employer must guide the employee with the organization’s policies and guidelines related to alcohol testing. After all, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure a drug and alcohol-free organization.
This guide will help you learn more about the breath alcohol test and its importance in the workplace.

What is the Breath Alcohol Test?

When you drink alcohol, it directly goes to the stomach and small intestines, absorbed into the blood. It then travels through your body and into your brain, lungs, and other parts. A breath alcohol test determines the alcohol content by measuring your exhaling air. In addition, it demonstrates the current level of damage and drunkenness of an individual. Having said that, breathe alcohol test does not define past consumptions.
If you hold a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.2 or perhaps above, it simply indicates that you have a positive result. Speaking of which, BAC can go up within 20 minutes after consuming an alcoholic beverage, and BAC is usually highest about an hour after you drink.
Moreover, the devices used in screening are a replica of old-fashioned mobile phones. The candidates need to blow into a disposable mouthpiece. The entire process gets done in around a minute before generating results.
Most organizations nowadays prefer opting for breathing testing to measure the consumption of alcohol in the workplace.

What is the DOT Alcohol Test?

U.S. Congress aimed for a safe transportation working environment in 1991 and has introduced the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act, demanding the DOT agencies to perform the drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees. Besides this, organizations can implement a DOT approved breath alcohol test to prevent workplace injuries and maintain employee productivity.
The DOT alcohol test uses a three-part DOT Alcohol Testing Form. The test is performed first, and in case it demonstrates positive results (concentration of .020 or maybe higher), the breath alcohol verification test is needed within 15-20 minutes. The results, along with the confirmation, must be printed in three copies. To conclude, the BAC of .040 or higher demands an evaluation by a substance abuse professional with a follow-up process. Consequences associated with performing safety-sensitive duties following a positive alcohol test are usually contingent on the alcohol concentration.

Why are Breathe Alcohol Tests Important?

Promotes a Safe Working Environment

Breath alcohol tests are implemented to safeguard against accidents and ensure employees’ safety. However, such tests are used explicitly for drivers caught speeding or in an accident. Speaking of which, companies also conduct breath alcohol testing on job applicants. It must be noted that once your blood alcohol content rises, you tend to become more negligent and clumsier, affecting an individual’s decision-making.

No Alcohol Abuse

Numerous organizations conduct breath alcohol screening to demonstrate that they will not allow any kind of alcohol abuse in the workplace. Besides, drug and alcohol testing must be constantly incorporated in the employee’s handbook to ensure that the employee is fully aware of the organization’s policies and practices associated with drugs and alcohol consumption. Any denial by a candidate to perform drug testing can be the reason for not getting the job.

Boost Productivity

Alcohol breath tests can prevent substance abuse, increasing the employees’ productivity. All the employees team up towards the same goal and direct their efforts. On the contrary, without alcohol drug testing, an organization is most likely to have lower productivity. Also, the sober employees get burdened with heavy workloads because of the absenteeism or low productivity from employees who use alcohol, affecting the cooperation among employees.

Reduce Possibilities of Legal Liability

When you hire an individual, you tend to become accountable for their safety concerns at the workplace. So, any incident or injury resulting from substance abuse can increase organization costs due to health claims, legal proceedings, and damages. Implementing an alcohol breath test can lower these occurrences.


Breath alcohol testing is associated with numerous advantages, regardless of the industry. While introducing such a policy to your business, the employer must guide the employee with the organization’s policies and guidelines related to alcohol testing, helping you ensure productivity while keeping employees safe. It is also an ideal way to recognize employees who might require help. Furthermore, it will be a practical decision to discuss with your legal advisor about your drug policy options and ensure to follow the federal laws. Do not forget to determine which testing laboratories in your area can offer the services you want.