What happens when an employee is unable to provide a sufficient amount of breath for an alcohol test?
(a) If an employee does not provide a sufficient amount of breath to permit a valid breath test, you must take the steps listed in this section.
(b) As the BAT or STT, you must instruct the employee to attempt again to provide a sufficient amount of breath and about the proper way to do so.
(1) If the employee refuses to make the attempt, you must discontinue the test, note the fact on the “Remarks” line of the ATF, and immediately notify the DER. This is a refusal to test.
(2) If the employee again attempts and fails to provide a sufficient amount of breath, you may provide another opportunity to the employee to do so if you believe that there is a strong likelihood that it could result in providing a sufficient amount of breath.
(3) When the employee's attempts under paragraph (b)(2) of this section have failed to produce a sufficient amount of breath, you must note the fact on the “Remarks” line of the ATF and immediately notify the DER.
(4) If you are using an EBT that has the capability of operating manually, you may attempt to conduct the test in manual mode.
(5) If you are qualified to use a saliva ASD and you are in the screening test stage, you may change to a saliva ASD only to complete the screening test.
(c) As the employer, when the BAT or STT informs you that the employee has not provided a sufficient amount of breath, you must direct the employee to obtain, within five days, an evaluation from a licensed physician who is acceptable to you and who has expertise in the medical issues raised by the employee's failure to provide a sufficient specimen.
(1) You are required to provide the physician who will conduct the evaluation with the following information and instructions:
(i) That the employee was required to take a DOT breath alcohol test, but was unable to provide a sufficient amount of breath to complete the test;
(ii) The consequences of the appropriate DOT agency regulation for refusing to take the required alcohol test;
(iii) That the physician must provide you with a signed statement of his or her conclusions; and
(iv) That the physician, in his or her reasonable medical judgment, must base those conclusions on one of the following determinations:
(A) A medical condition has, or with a high degree of probability could have, precluded the employee from providing a sufficient amount of breath. The physician must not include in the signed statement detailed information on the employee's medical condition. In this case, the test is cancelled.
(B) There is not an adequate basis for determining that a medical condition has, or with a high degree of probability could have, precluded the employee from providing a sufficient amount of breath. This constitutes a refusal to test.
(C) For purposes of paragraphs (c)(1)(iv)(A) and (B) of this section, a medical condition includes an ascertainable physiological condition (e.g., a respiratory system dysfunction) or a medically documented pre-existing psychological disorder, but does not include unsupported assertions of “situational anxiety” or hyperventilation.
(2) As the physician making the evaluation, after making your determination, you must provide a written statement of your conclusions and the basis for them to the DER directly (and not through a C/TPA acting as an itermediary). You must not include in this statement detailed information on the employee's medical condition beyond what is necessary to explain your conclusion.
(3) Upon receipt of the report from the examining physician, as the DER you must immediately inform the employee and take appropriate action based upon your DOT agency regulations.
Title 49 published on 2012-10-01
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