DOT Alcohol Testing: In-House Test Strips


In addition to drug testing, DOT compliant employers are required to perform alcohol tests on a certain percentage of their safety-sensitive employees each year. We’ve already gone over the administering drug tests in-house using DOT approved collection kits but what if an employee is selected for alcohol testing as well? This blog post delves into how employers are utilizing Alco Screen O2 saliva test strips for DOT approved alcohol screening.


The Benefits of Alco Screen Test Strips

The Alco-Screen 02 is approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as an Alcohol Screening Device and is an easy way to perform DOT alcohol screening tests for the following reasons.

Collection is straightforward and can be performed almost anywhere, reducing downtime and logistical challenges. As long as the employee has sufficient privacy, there’s no need for specialized facilities, making it ideal for on-site testing.

The alcohol content in saliva is directly proportional to alcohol content in blood. This means the Alco Screen O2 test strip is capable of determining whether or not the BAC of the employee is under 0.02%. The rapid results provided by these test strips ensure timely decision-making in critical situations.

Prioritize the comfort and dignity of the individual being tested. No need to provide a urine sample or draw blood. This non-invasiveness also reduces the potential for contamination and tampering.

Alco Screen O2 saliva test strips allow for immediate sample collection right at the scene of an accident. As a portable and easy-to-use solution, oral swabs ensure that crucial evidence can be collected within the two hour window after an accident, providing peace of mind to employers.

How In-House Alcohol Screening Works

For those unfamiliar with the process, here’s a detailed breakdown of how alcohol saliva tests are initiated, administered, and analyzed:

  1. If an employee is selected for a random alcohol test as well as their drug test, the DER will be notified by the consortium draw.
  2. If an alcohol test is required for another type of test initiated by the DER such as pre-employment, then they will simply check the “Include Alcohol” box in the scheduling form.
  1. The employee being tested must not put anything in their mouth for at least 15 minutes prior to the test. They will choose an unopened package and the collector will ensure it hasn’t expired before opening the package. They will both observe the test strip to ensure no colored line is visible.
  2. The employee will then saturate the strip with their saliva for 5 seconds. The strip should then be laid on a flat surface and read after 4 minutes of saliva collection.
  1. The development of a thin colored line on the strip indicates the presence of BAC equal to or above 0.02%. This would be a positive result, any BAC lower will not produce a line and is a negative result.
  2. Do not read results from a strip after 5 minutes as it will not be accurate.

Impact on DOT Drivers and Employers

Saliva alcohol testing can have significant positive effects on both DOT drivers and employers:

For DOT drivers, maintaining sobriety is paramount. Saliva alcohol testing ensures that drivers are alcohol-free before hitting the road, thus enhancing roadway safety and reducing the risk of accidents.

With the convenience and speed of saliva collection, companies can swiftly resume operations post-testing. This minimizes downtime and keeps the workforce productive and focused.

Employers are obligated to comply with DOT regulations regarding alcohol testing. Saliva test strips provide a cheap and reliable method to meet these requirements, thereby avoiding potential fines and legal issues.

Stay Compliant. Stay Safe. Choose Traverse.

Saliva collection has become a go to for alcohol testing and marks a significant advancement in workplace safety and compliance. Its convenience, accuracy, and non-invasive nature make it the superior choice for employers and DOT drivers committed to upholding the highest standards of sobriety and safety.

At Traverse, we specialize in cutting-edge drug screening solutions designed to meet the evolving needs of today’s businesses. Ready to revolutionize your alcohol testing protocol? Contact us today to learn more about incorporating Alco Screen O2 saliva test strips into your safety program.

Contact our team today to learn more.