o Random and Reasonable Suspicion alcohol tests can only be conducted just before, during, or just after the performance of safety-sensitive functions.
o Random and Reasonable Suspicion drug tests, however, can be conducted any time the employee is on duty (regardless of if the employee is performing a safety-sensitive function or not).
o The FTA regulations require this difference in when an employer may conduct drug tests as opposed to alcohol tests.
o Generally, because alcohol is a legal substance, USDOT-FTA (as a regulatory entity) has a limited legal authority of WHEN they can authorize tests on individuals for alcohol as opposed to drugs.
o See 49 CFR Part 655.43(c) and Part 655.45(i).
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