Scripted Statements in Drug and Alcohol Testing Process
As an alcohol and drug testing professional the idea of scripted statements may seem unnecessary or even silly. After all, daily interactions with testing subjects should be a natural exchange, not forced or insincere. However, it’s a proven fact that scripted statements delivered to subjects or donors during the drug and alcohol testing process are advantageous for several reasons.
- First and foremost, scripted statements ensure the testing process is administered professionally and with consistency. This benefit cannot be stressed enough, especially when you encounter that rare positive breath alcohol reading or a challenging testing subject during a specimen collection. In these unique situations, scripted statements will serve to keep you focused and on track to completing the process in a professional manner. It is not uncommon for test subjects who have something to hide to ask a lot of questions or try to draw you into a debate in an attempt to fluster you and derail the process. Questions such as “why do we do it like this?”, or “will I be fired from my job?” only need to be met with simple responses like, “the DOT (or your employer) requires it be done this way” or “you will need to discuss the results with your employer”. Do not go into long winded responses that do not serve the testing process.
- Scripted statements serve to thoroughly communicate only the important testing details to the subject or donor. When subjects understand the process, they are more disposed to comply. Effective and thorough communication breeds compliance and trust from your subject, which makes for a much smoother testing experience for the both of you.
- Scripted statements become increasingly important if you encounter a legal challenge. After a positive test situation, it is highly likely union or legal representatives will closely scrutinize the testing process and you, the testing professional. This hyper evaluation is obviously done with the intent of finding flaws to overturn the findings or consequences of the findings. In most cases, these representatives consider the evaluation of the testing process, documentation and professional to be the lowest hanging fruit. It’s much more difficult to find flaws in lab analysis or with a testing device that has been cleared by the DOT. But if you can demonstrate consistent verbal cues were provided and properly documented, then you will have a greater chance of withstanding legal contests.
AlcoPro teaches these scripted statements as part of their online or classroom Breath Alcohol Technician (BAT) and Specimen Collector training classes. You can also download copies of Scripted Statements for Breath Alcohol Testing and Specimen Collection Testing.