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School bus incident underscores importance of preventative action

Even though half of impaired driving incidents reported by police take place after bars close, drunk driving isn’t only a concern after workers are off the clock.

Just last week, a bus driver was sentenced for driving drunk while taking a busload of kids to school in Wasaga Beach, Ontario. Luckily, a teenager he picked up at one of his stops smelled alcohol on his breath and ordered him to pull over. He was arrested with almost three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system. The judge gave him 15 days in jail, suspended his license for 15 months, ordered him to complete community service and put him on probation for a year.

Those are the consequences for an incident that (potentially because of a teenager’s good judgment) didn’t lead to tragedy. But the outcome could have been much worse. The bus driver could have crashed the vehicle and seriously or fatally injured the children on the bus, pedestrians, or others that the bus was sharing the road with. The school board could have been liable for his actions.

It is exactly this type of situation that workplace alcohol and drug testing aims to prevent. DriverCheck encourages employers to pro-actively mitigate the risks posed by alcohol and/or drug use, misuse, and abuse. Supervisors in your workplace can be trained on how to identify the signs of impairment to pull an employee off the job before they endanger lives. If an employee comes to work knowing there was a chance they could be subject to an alcohol or drug test that day, perhaps they would make the right choice. If an employee tests positive for alcohol or drugs, a Substance Abuse Professional can determine if they have a dependency and get them the treatment they need so they can safely return to work.

Don’t take any chances. The more steps you take to ensure your workplace is safe, the more likely it is that you will avoid a situation that could lead to injury or death. It’s not worth the risk.