Holiday Season Drug & Alcohol Testing

Scheduling a Drug & Alcohol Test during the holiday season

Transportation is the backbone of this economy. It’s how we move manufactured goods and services from one place to another, either nationally or globally. Here in the U.S., many jobs are dependent on this being a reliable entity. If the manufacturer has a load of products that need to get from their warehouse in one country to your business in the U.S. it requires several moving pieces of a sophisticated puzzle to get it done. If the ships or planes don’t make it to the ports, then they can’t unload the cargo onto the trains or semi-trucks. If the trains or semi-trucks don’t arrive at your business, then you and the manufacturer probably won’t stay in business very long because customers aren’t getting the goods or services you are trying to provide. As I’m sure you are able to tell, this seriously affects our economy.

However, within these moving parts is what’s called “the human element”. Humans have their faults and weaknesses like any other living creature on this planet. Repeatedly long hours and short deadlines can cause some serious undue stress on a person, which in turn causes less sleeping, loss of appetite, and frustration. When you add all that up, it could lead to some seriously bad decisions being made. Some decisions that could involve drugs or alcohol, allowing a tough situation to turn into something worse. Don’t fret any because there are and have been safety measures/laws put into place to discourage this behavior. However, there are still some who ignore the rules and put more than their jobs at risk during the Christmas Holiday Season when there is an increased hazard on the roads more than any other time of year. With the increased traffic comes: out-of-town people who drive very slow because they don’t know the area, everyone else is in a hurry to get around (and away) from the out of towners, PLUS weather problems. All of which can be a stressful distraction. A recent NHTSA study puts increased crashes at Christmas time right up there between Thanksgiving and New Years. In fact, December 26th is the 6th highest day for speed-related crashes alone.

Although alcohol seems to be the main holiday-related substance abuse problem, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) had reported that in 2009, 10 million people drove while intoxicated with prescription or illicit drugs when compared to 30 million people drove while alcohol intoxicated. In fact, in some of the age groups, the prevalence of drugged-driving exceeds that of drunk driving. This is a very good reason why companies (especially those with drivers) should administer drug and alcohol testing BEFORE their driver gets behind the wheel, if they already do have a policy in place, perhaps it should be stepped up some. It’s better to be safe than sorry because if there is a situation that happens, it’s better to know your driver wasn’t under the influence. According to the Department of Transportation’s website (as of April 2013), they have a chart outlining their annual minimum drug and alcohol random testing rates within the DOT Agencies and the USCG for 2013. Click here to see the current testing rates.

Air Travel is expected to account for 6% of all travel this holiday period. That equals out to some 5.6 million people. For everyone else, it’s expected that other modes of travel, such as bus, train, or cruise, will have 3.3 million travelers using their services to get from Point A to Point B this Christmas Season. With this many people traveling commercially it would seem that safety should be the number one concern for both driver and passenger. Granted, you can’t prevent everyone’s actions, but you can stop those who work for you from getting behind the wheel if they are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. It’s already scary enough when looking at the percentages of random drug and alcohol testing this time of year. These statistics should be at least doubled, if not tripled in some cases.

Granted it may be difficult to test everyone around the same time, but this shouldn’t be difficult to get done. If you give notice ahead of time, you might not see as much resistance as you might encounter doing it randomly. However, it could raise suspicions if the employee got upset when you suddenly show up with a test in your hand. Either way, drug or alcohol testing shouldn’t be dismissed or put off if there is reason to believe the person is under the influence. Rapid Detect, INC is here with you as your trusted partner during this Christmas Holiday Season.

In the meantime, Happy Holidays to you and yours from all of us here at Rapid Detect, Inc.

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