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By Betye Bailey

Part 40 Rule Changes

On November 13, 2017, the DOT Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy and Compliance issued a final rule which harmonizes 49 CFR Part 40 with the revised Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Mandatory Guidelines established for drug & alcohol testing of federal employees.

The new Part 40 rules become effective on January 1, 2018. We have been waiting for this since DHHS began their new procedures for federal employees in October. Highlights of the Part 40 rule changes include:   Read more

By Adam Bell

The What, When, and How of Air Blanks

Some of our commonly asked questions have to do with air blanks: what they are, when to conduct them, and how. Here are the answers to those burning questions:

What is an air blank?

An air blank, or blank check, is a test to insure there is no alcohol present in the sampling system of an EBT instrument prior to having a subject provide a breath sample. Such a test is needed to prove that the subject’s test result is not contaminated by residual alcohol.   Read more

By Betye Bailey

Is a BAT Completion Certificate Required by DOT?

DOT does not obligate Breath Alcohol Technicians (BAT) to have a BAT completion certificate, but they do require the technicians to successfully complete certain requirements. These requirements are detailed in 49 CFR Part 40.213 as well as in the DOT Model Course, both of which can be acquired from the DOT Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy and Compliance. You should be aware; however, that Part 40.213(g) requires BATs to maintain documentation showing that the BAT has met all of these requirements.

  Read more

By Adam Bell

Ten Tips for a Successful Audit

An audit by a DOT Operating Agency can be initiated in various ways. It may be a random event or DOT could be actively investigating. Some operating agencies (e.g. FAA) have regularly scheduled audits with larger employers. Service Agents generally get audited because the inspector found the name of the service provider when auditing an employer or through anonymous tips.

An audit can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. The more prepared you are, the less stressful your audit will be.   Read more

By Betye Bailey

DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing – Forensic or Medical?

Many of our customers are medical facilities such as occupational or behavioral health clinics, hospitals, and doctor’s offices. It can be difficult to separate medical procedures and practices from the forensic protocols used in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) testing program. Medical procedures must follow specific rules for documentation, HIPAA, and dialog with the subject. DOT drug & alcohol tests are forensic tests to insure compliance with federal safety regulations and are not medical procedures, even if they are conducted by medical personnel in a medical facility.   Read more

By Betye Bailey

5 Essential Questions to Ask Your Breath Alcohol Technician (BAT)

With far fewer breath alcohol tests being performed compared to urine drug screen collections, you may be faced with the training issue of “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. Confirming that your BAT is proficient and educated on an ongoing basis not only ensures the defensibility of your findings, but also protects the reputation of your business.   Read more

By Betye Bailey

Calibration Logbook Essentials for Workplace Testing

It always surprises us when we discover an alcohol testing program that does not utilize a logbook for their EBT (Evidential Breath Tester). This missing documentation can lead to problems if faced with an audit or legal proceedings. Programs which fail to document their quality assurance practices properly are out of compliance with 49 CFR Part 40.233(c)(4). The term “logbook” in this context refers to a Calibration Logbook. A Calibration Logbook keeps records of accuracy checks, calibrations, and instrument maintenance. This is a different document from a BAT logbook, which holds records of every test and function conducted with a particular device.    Read more

By Betye Bailey

How to Perform an Accuracy Check – Alco-Sensor VXL

Training at Intox Training Academy includes the basics of a Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) and also covers procedures for performing Accuracy Checks for your Alco-Sensor VXL. Understanding these procedures is very important to the health of your Testing Program, and its defensibility. For that reason, we are sharing the video clip below, directly from our training program, as a refresher on these procedures.    Read more

By Betye Bailey

Training Requirements for UDS Collectors

We talk about BAT training a lot here at Intoximeters, so we thought it might be good to discuss training UDS Collectors for a change!

The Department of Transportation has not published a Model Course for collectors like they did for Breath Alcohol Technicians (BATs). The BAT Model Course is what tells us how long the training should take and also provides materials for use in that training. Nothing like that exists for Urine Drug Screen collection training (other than the Urine Specimen Collection Guidelines document). Below is a summary of the Part 40 rules regarding collector training.     Read more

By Betye Bailey

Inspection, Maintenance and Calibration Records

Every EBT device should have its own Calibration Logbook where records related to the maintenance of your instrument are kept. As part of your training, you should have been taught how to fill out a logbook every time you conduct an accuracy check. Logbook entries are routine procedures that become extremely important when an employee challenges a positive test result. If you were NOT taught about logbooks in your BAT training, contact us at training@intox.com.

Intoximeters trainers have the occasional opportunity to examine calibration logbooks when we go to a customer site to do training or to audit their program. Unfortunately, we frequently see careless logbook entries that do not contain complete information.    Read more

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