Sir, Have You Been Drinking? Alcohol, Drugs and Workers' Compensation


Most of us have seen the commercials where the police officer asks, “Sir, have you been drinking?” It’s a question they must consider at every traffic stop. It’s also a question and issue that should be explored in workers’ compensation cases.

Intoxication – whether by alcohol or illegal drugs -- can provide an absolute defense in workers’ compensation claims. However, employers must take care to document such a defense properly, or it can evaporate in a matter of days. Employers also must recognize that drug cases are far more difficult to document and prove than alcohol cases and must take extreme care in pursuing such a defense.

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