Minnesota Department of Transportation

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MnDOT Policies

Alcohol and Drug Use

MnDOT Policy HR89.1
View/print signed policy (PDF)

Policy statement

MnDOT management fully endorses the State Policy on Alcohol and Other Drug Use by State Employees issued by the Department of Employee Relations on March 18, 1989.

In addition to adopting the State Policy, the Department has adopted a supplemental policy which addresses the concerns surrounding driving vehicles or using equipment after the consumption of alcohol or the use of drugs.

The MnDOT supplemental policy is intended as a positive step in the prevention of accidents, injuries and property damage and is stated below:

  1. Employees who drive a state vehicle or who operate equipment (where misuse could cause injury to the employee or others) are not permitted to consume any amount of alcohol or use drugs during the lunch break when there is a likelihood of being assigned to drive or operate equipment that day.
  2. Employees who drive a personal vehicle for state business purposes and are receiving mileage reimbursement, are not permitted to consume alcohol or to use drugs during the lunch break when there is a likelihood of driving on state business that day.

Reason for policy

Due to the department’s unique involvement in all modes of transportation, and out of concern for the safety of employees and the general public, MnDOT has adopted a supplemental policy which addresses the concerns surrounding driving vehicles or using equipment after the consumption of alcohol or the use of drugs in addition to adopting the State Policy.

Who needs to know this policy

  • All MnDOT employees


Work-related Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse

Use of mood-altering drugs, including all forms of alcohol, narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, marijuana or the use of prescription drugs when resulting behavior or appearance adversely affects work performance.

Adversely Affects Work Performance and Under the Influence

Determined to be present if the employee is perceptibly impaired; has impaired alertness, coordination, reactions, responses or effort; if the employee’s conditions or behavior presents the appearance of unprofessional or irresponsible conduct detrimental to the public’s perception of the State as an employer as determined by the supervisor or manager or others observing the employee.

Controlled Substance

Substances whose distribution is controlled by regulation or statute including, but not limited to, narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens and cannabis.

Mood-altering or Alter

Changed behavior which may limit an employee’s ability to safely and efficiently perform his/her job duties, or poses a threat to the safety of the employee or others.


Scope of Coverage

This policy is applicable to all employees of the Executive Branch and shall be enforced by each State agency. Questions regarding this policy should be addressed to agency Appointing Authorities or their Personnel Officers, or to the Department of Employee Relations.

State Employee Assistance Program

The State has in place a formal Employee Assistance Program to assist employees in addressing problems such as alcohol or other drug abuse. Employees who have an alcohol or other drug abuse problem are encouraged to seek a professional assessment from the Employee Assistance Program before the problem affects their employment status. Participation in this program is voluntary and confidential, except as may be required pursuant to Public Law 100-690, Title V, Subtitle D.


The State’s policy on work-related substance abuse is non-discriminatory in intent and application. However, in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 363, disability does not include any condition resulting from alcohol or other drug abuse which prevents a person from performing essential functions of the job or creates a direct threat to property or the safety of individuals.

Consequence of Violations

Violations of this policy may constitute just cause for discipline, including possible discharge. Each situation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis depending upon the severity and circumstances involved.


  1. No employee shall report to work under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, controlled substances, or other drugs which affect his/her alertness, coordination, reaction, response, judgment, decision-making or safety.
  2. No employee shall operate, use or drive any equipment, machinery or vehicle of the State while under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, controlled substances, or other mood altering drugs. Such employee is under an affirmative duty to immediately notify his/her supervisor that he/she is not in appropriate mental or physical condition to operate, use or drive State equipment.
  3. No employee shall unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, posses, transfer, or use a controlled substance in the workplace or wherever the State’s work is being performed. During work hours or while on the State’s premises, no employee shall use, sell, possess or transfer alcoholic beverages, with the following exceptions:
    • Consumption, possession, sale or purchase of alcohol when authorized by a Commissioner under separate statutory or executive agency authority.
    • Possession of alcohol while being transported in a State vehicle in compliance with applicable statutory requirements.
    • Possession of alcohol while in an employee’s personal vehicle on the State’s premises in compliance with applicable statutory requirements.
      Additionally, employees shall not participate in these activities during rest breaks or during overtime work.
  4. Engaging in off-duty sale, purchase, transfer, use or possession of illegal drugs or controlled substances may have a negative effect on an employee’s ability to perform his/her work for the State. In such circumstances, the employee is subject to discipline.
  5. When an employee is taking medically authorized drugs or other substances which may alter job performance, as defined above, the employee is under an affirmative duty to notify the appropriate supervisor of his/her temporary inability to perform the job duties of his/her position.
  6. Agencies shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency when they have reasonable suspicion to believe that an employee may have illegal drugs in his/her possession at work or on State’s premises. Where appropriate, agencies shall also notify licensing boards.
  7. Employees are discouraged from consuming alcoholic beverages during lunch or dinner meals when returning immediately thereafter to perform work on behalf of the State. Employees are advised that in any situation subsequent to the intake of alcohol where the employee must continue conducting the State’s business, any employee whose condition or behavior adversely affects his/her work performance shall be subject to possible discipline, up to and including discharge.

Supplemental Policies

State agencies may promulgate supplemental policies, which are not in conflict with this policy, including prohibiting the use or consumption of alcohol and/or controlled substances within a specified time period before the commencement of work. Such pre-work abstinence must be restricted to employees involved in sensitive security, treatment or equipment operation and written notice must be disseminated to affected employees. Further, policies may be adopted only after meet and confer sessions are held with exclusive representatives and approval of DOER.

Data Disclosure

Disclosure of information regarding employee alcohol and other drug use in the workplace must be consistent with applicable collective bargaining agreements and law. Questions in this area should be directed to the Employment and Labor Law Section of the Attorney’s Office or to the Department of Employee Relations, Labor Relations Bureau.

Federal Grant Employees

Each employee engaged in the performance of work on federal grants or contracts is required to notify their agency of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than (5) five days after such conviction.

Drug/Alcohol Testing

Any alcohol and/or other drug testing undertaken by Appointing Authorities shall be in accordance with Minnesota Statutes 181.950-957 (1987), the Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act. Individual agency drug and alcohol testing policies must be in written form and must be reviewed by the Department of Employee Relations prior to implementation.



May 12th, 1989


Please go to the MnDOT Org Chart to find specific contact information: Org Chart.

Responsible Senior Officer

Deputy Commissioner/Chief Engineer

Policy Owner

Office Director
Office of Transportation Human Resouces

Policy Contact

Labor Relations Manager
Office of Human Resouces