Driving Under The Influence Within The Workplace

The consequences of driving under the influence of drink or drugs can be absolutely devastating for everyone involved, and yet, this entirely selfish and dangerous act continues to kill or seriously injure innocent road users.

When you consider that most people are naïve to the effects of drugs, including the drug users themselves, you can start to understand the weight of the problem.

Many drug users incorrectly perceive that when behind the wheel of a vehicle, they are still able to perform and function accurately. However, when under the influence of drugs, the user is impaired, and this will restrict their ability to make imperative decisions correctly or quickly.

This will have an adverse effect on their profession, more specifically, they will be unable to function safely whilst driving or operating heavy machinery and they will be more likely to have a serious accident, potentially causing personal injury, third party injury or death. When combined with alcohol, the result can be even more fatal.

Despite this, the speed at which drug driving is growing can be seen clearly. Whilst most employers would like to believe none of their workforce misuse drugs or alcohol, recent data shows that 74% of substance users are in full-time employment. Similarly, a recent survey by DrugScope and Alcohol Concern found that 27% of employers say drug misuse is a problem in the workplace, whilst 60% have experienced problems due to staff consuming alcohol.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimate that more than a quarter of all road traffic accidents involve someone who is driving for work. So, with that information in mind, can you really afford to sit back and bury your head in the sand?

If you play any part in the day-to-day management of employees, then you have a social, moral, and legal duty not only to your employees but also to the public to ensure your drivers and workers are fit to get behind the wheel and operate machinery.

Under the Corporate Manslaughter Act, any business who has not risk assessed substance abuse, educated their drivers and workers, and enacted a sufficiently robust drug and alcohol policy, could be found personally liable. On top of this, those who are found guilty of drink or drug driving are likely to face a criminal record, a large fine, a driving ban and potentially up to six months in prison. Aside from the major disruption to the workforce, unnecessary recruitment costs and the tarnishing of the organisation’s reputation, no employer wants to witness this happening to their employee.

As industry experts, we understand the obstacles you face and can provide you with a dignified, easy to implement process to ensure the impact on your drivers and workers is minimal whilst protecting your organisation and the wider public. By utilising the D.tec system of policy, educate, deter, and detect, together with the market leading DrugWipe Dual, you will create the safest system for your employees, customers and ensure you and your organisation is protected.