Alcohol, How Many Hours Before Work?

How many hours before shift start should you have to stop drinking?

  • You should be able to drink anytime you want.

    Votes: 3 8.6%
  • 0-4 hours

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4-8 hours

    Votes: 2 5.7%
  • 8-12 hours

    Votes: 17 48.6%
  • 12-16 hours

    Votes: 5 14.3%
  • 16-24 hours

    Votes: 2 5.7%
  • 24+ hours

    Votes: 6 17.1%

  • Total voters
    35

medic417

The Truth Provider
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So many on here post about getting drinks or even drunk made me wonder what is your company policy about it?

1.How many hours before going to work must you be alcohol free by your company policy?

2.In your opinion how many hours before going work do you think should be the policy on drinking?

3.Should the policy differentiate between one drink and having been intoxicated?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Anjel

Forum Angel
4,548
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I think it depends on the person. Someone could have a drink 6 hrs before work and be fine. And others cant.

I think it should be no drinking period 12hrs before work.

We had a guy fired for coming.to work at 6am smelling like etoh. 6hrs into his shift his FTO took him for a brethalizer and he blew a .04
 

systemet

Forum Asst. Chief
882
12
18
A few of the Scandinavian countries have a .02 % limit for driving your personal vehicle. You can drink alcohol in the passenger compartment, as openly as you like. Pass a big bottle around, no problem. But the driver has to blow under .02

They tag a ton of people for DWI January 1st. But the end result is (i) there's no such thing as having a social beer, then driving a car, it's considered the equivalent of drinking a sixpack and driving, you're over the limit, (ii) people are very careful driving the next morning even after just having a couple of drinks the night before -- not willing to risk blowing 0.03.

We should probably be at least as sober in the ambulance. Some jurisdictions have different alcohol limits for emergency vehicle operators and commercial drivers.
 

Anjel

Forum Angel
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Without a doubt if you are driving an ambulance you should be able to blow .00
 

fast65

Doogie Howser FP-C
2,664
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Our company policy is no drinks within 12 hours. But as Anjel said, you absolutely must blow .00 if you're driving an ambulance or providing any sort of patient care.
 

shfd739

Forum Deputy Chief
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Our company policy is no drinks within 12 hours. But as Anjel said, you absolutely must blow .00 if you're driving an ambulance or providing any sort of patient care.

Same policy we have and I agree with the .00 BAC.

Most of our shifts are 12s so this is meant to discourage drinking between shifts during your 2 or 3 day rotation on.
 

xxTriNakedxx

Forum Probie
18
0
0
I agree with the .00 blow. Our Fire Department's policy is 8 hours before your shift starts.
 

FourLoko

Forum Lieutenant
243
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We probably have an official policy but I don't know it. I'd say 8 hours is reasonable though as most people can get more than enough sleep in that time.
 

Veneficus

Forum Chief
7,301
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theory vs reality

I think it really depends on what and how much you are drinking.

Somebody who has a pint of beer or a glass of wine, or even a single shot with a meal is probably not going to be so bad off.
(scary thing is it might actually help)

But if you are having a few "social" drinks, 8 hours seems rather reasonable.

If you go out and get plastered, it is probably best not to go to work the next day at all.

(Though it seems from my experience, roofers and tree cutters are expected to drink on the job.)

As for a set limit to blow, in the US at least, if there is an accident, injury, or even complaint, if you register anything, you could be facing big problems. (like workman's comp refusing to pay, fired, sued, etc.)

Whether or not you are under the legal limit for driving won't make up for the headline: "EMS provider had alcohol in her system at work."

Like anything else, good judgement should take precedent over "right" or "legal."

After all, you have every right to go up to the neanderthal playing billiards at the bar and make fun of him and his mother. But it is probably not the best of ideas even if it is legal.
 
OP
medic417

medic417

The Truth Provider
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I am aware of many services with the 8 hour rule. The problem is many drink heavy right up to the 8 hour mark then show up at work maybe sober but obviously not mentally fit for work. I send those people home immediately with the real possibility they will be fired. My safety as well as patient safety is more important than their good time.
 

Sasha

Forum Chief
7,667
11
0
I think it should be 12 hours.

Tired of having my sunday partner show up to work hung over then want to go home. Must be nice to still live with mommy and daddy and not care if you lose your hours for that day.
 
OP
medic417

medic417

The Truth Provider
5,104
3
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I'm aware of multiple places that have a 24 hour rule. They understand that people might still have a lone drink closer than that but it makes it harder to show up still hung over.
 

BandageBrigade

Forum Lieutenant
232
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0
I think 12 hours is ridiculous. If I work 6a to 6p, and the same the next day, by that policy I could get in trouble for having a beer or glass of wine with dinner. We officially have an 8 hour policy. We also have a well rested policy that would cover hangovers. If anyone suspects a partner of being under the influence at all, call a sup and they take them over to the PD's side of our building and have them do a breathalyzer. Any refusal to take a breathalyzer is an automatic termination. Same for drug testing.
 

Veneficus

Forum Chief
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I can't help but think that many of these policies were put in place as a reaction or perhaps over reaction to a person who did something really stupid.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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Tired of having my sunday partner show up to work hung over then want to go home.
I know people who have shown up to work hungover. They weren't drunk, just hungover. big difference.

I've heard stories from back in the day about urban EMTs and FFs working half buzzed, often with alcohol in one of the ambulance compartments. scary stuff.

24 hours is over kill. even 12 hours can be a lot. 6-8 hours sounds like a good number, assuming you didn't get completely hammered the night before.

It takes 1 hrs to get one drink processed and removed from your body. so if you have 6 beers with the guys, in 6 hours you should be good. if you have 12 beers with the guys, 12 hours you should be good. if you finish a 30 pack by your self, you should probably call out sick for your next shift.
 

Handsome Robb

Youngin'
Premium Member
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8 hours is the policy.

I don't really drink if I work the next. Maybe one of two beers with dinner but that's it.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
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I think 12 hours is ridiculous. If I work 6a to 6p, and the same the next day, by that policy I could get in trouble for having a beer or glass of wine with dinner. We officially have an 8 hour policy. We also have a well rested policy that would cover hangovers. If anyone suspects a partner of being under the influence at all, call a sup and they take them over to the PD's side of our building and have them do a breathalyzer. Any refusal to take a breathalyzer is an automatic termination. Same for drug testing.

That's pretty much our policy.

I know people who have shown up to work hungover. They weren't drunk, just hungover. big difference.

I've heard stories from back in the day about urban EMTs and FFs working half buzzed, often with alcohol in one of the ambulance compartments. scary stuff.

24 hours is over kill. even 12 hours can be a lot. 6-8 hours sounds like a good number, assuming you didn't get completely hammered the night before.

It takes 1 hrs to get one drink processed and removed from your body. so if you have 6 beers with the guys, in 6 hours you should be good. if you have 12 beers with the guys, 12 hours you should be good. if you finish a 30 pack by your self, you should probably call out sick for your next shift.

I agree with all of that except the first part. Legally, you're fine to work with a hangover (presuming it's just a hangover and you didn't wake up still drunk). But if you're super hungover you shouldn't be working, for the same reasons you shouldn't work if you're sick. If you feel like crap you aren't going to have harder time paying attention and thinking quickly, which are allegedly qualities valued in EMS.
 

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