Breath Alcohol Confirmation Test at a Different Location: 3 Steps
It is not uncommon for a breath alcohol screening test to be conducted by one individual at one location and a breath alcohol confirmation test at a different location. In cases where a Screening Test Technician (STT) or BAT using saliva tests and where the screening test renders a positive result, the DOT requires a breath alcohol confirmation test be conducted by a certified Breath Alcohol Technician and using an evidential breath alcohol instrument in which test results can be printed.
In our training classes we hear story after story where the BAT who is only being asked to perform a confirmation test, is starting the testing process all over, beginning with a second screening test. For this reason, we have assembled 3 simple steps to conducting a successful confirmation test when the screening test was conducted by someone else at a different location.
- Check the previous Alcohol Testing Form (ATF): In the case of a positive screening test, the STT or BAT should accompany or arrange accompaniment and transportation (depending upon your company policies), of the subject to the second site for the confirmation test along with the original ATF form from the screening test. The BAT conducting the confirmation test MUST check the notes section of the original ATF to confirm if the “:15 Wait Instructions” were given and the time they were given. This is critical so that the BAT performing the confirmation test knows what time to start the confirmation test (DOT regulations require a minimum wait period of :15; transit times count towards the wait period). If the STT or BAT who performed the screening test did not document either in the notes section of the ATF form, then the BAT giving the confirmation test must give the “Wait Instructions” and start the :15 wait period all over again. This wasted time could result in what was a positive screening test, turning into a negative confirmation test. The BAT is not to start the screening test all over. On the flip side of this step, STT’s or BAT’s performing screening tests only, must do their part to ensure a successul testing process by documenting “:15 wait instructions and time” in the notes section of the ATF.
- Start a new ATF for the confirmation test: After checking the first ATF to ensure wait instructions were given and the time they were given, the BAT will begin a new ATF, completing all the necessary steps. Never use the ATF from the screening test to record information for the confirmation test. The DOT requires a new ATF for the confirmation test be completed and copies given to the subject and DER. In the case of a positive confirmation test, the subject signs Step 4 of the second ATF used to perform the confirmation test, not the original ATF from the screening test.
- Manually launch into confirmation test mode on your EBT: Those evidential breath alcohol instruments engineered with both a screening test and confirmation test modewill allow the BAT to manually initiate a confirmation test, bypassing the screening test altogether. It is important to note that the BAT must be in a confirmation test mode in order for the print out displaying the test results to read “confirmation test” and not “screening test”. Remember, the DOT requires the results of a confirmation test be printed and attached to the ATF. BAT’s can reference their EBT operator’s manual for proper confirmation test mode operating instructions, or call AlcoPro for help and support.
The DOT regulations outline the complete by step process of performing breath alcohol confirmation tests at a different location.