Employers in states where pot is legal should be on guard if they ave employees driving vehicles on company business. This is true whether employees drive company owned or privately-owned vehicles. You need to read this study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
In preparing a news story on this study, a Fox News Station highlighted the fact that reported fatal crashes involving drivers who recently used marijuana more than doubled in 2014. Pot was involved in 17% of fatal crashes in Washington in 2014, up from 8% in 2013 — the year before recreational marijuana was allowed there.
“The significant increase in fatal crashes involving marijuana is alarming,” said Peter Kissinger, CEO of the AAA foundation, which funds scientifically rigorous studies for the driver organization. “Washington serves as an eye-opening case study for what other states may experience with road safety after legalizing the drug.”
Having employees under the current influence of pot while operating a vehicle for your firm can result in serious and deadly accidents with accompanying huge liabilities for your firm. So what can an employer do to protect from these situations?
The answer is easy. Have an effective random drug testing program for that pool of employees operating vehicles. Read a blog article about a successful random testing program here.Such a program will help defend against alleged negligence on your part. How would you like to be in front of a plaintiff attorney who alleges contributory negligence on your part because you don’t even care to randomly drug test?
The article mentions that a blood test is the most effective to test for the existence of pot in someone’s system. Well as an employer using a blood specimen is extremely cumbersome. And it is unnecessary as oral fluid exactly mirrors what is in a person’s blood stream. We can help you implement a random drug testing program using Intercept, an oral fluid specimen collection kit. Oral fluid specimens can’t be adulterated or substituted or diluted like urine specimens can be. With an oral fluid drug test your company representative merely observes the donor put the kit in their mouth for five minutes. The donor caps the tube, seals the tube, signs and dates the tube. Then the donor gives the signed and sealed tube to your company representative who places the specimen in a FedEx package. FedEx picks up the specimen and you should know a negative within 1 to 2 business days.