Last Updated: 03/13/2019

DOT Rules and Regulations / How Can I Become a Technician For DOT Alcohol Testing?

How do I become qualified to be a Breath Alcohol Technician (BAT) or Screening Test Technician (STT)?

To become qualified as a BAT or STT, you must be knowledgeable about Part 40 regulations and DOT agency regulations (applicable to the employers for whom you will perform alcohol tests), and you must keep current on any changes to these materials. You must also (1) successfully complete a qualification training program and (2) pass a monitored proficiency demonstration, as required by DOT regulations [See 49 CFR Part 40.213(b)&(c)].

BAT or STT qualifications are not location/collection site specific and their eligibility will follow the individual anywhere DOT Agency regulations require an alcohol test.

Law enforcement officers who have been certified by state or local governments to conduct breath alcohol testing are deemed to be qualified as BATs and are note required to complete the DOT training requirements to act as BATs. In order for a test conducted by such an officer to be accepted under DOT alcohol testing requirements, the officer must have been certified by a state or local government to use the alcohol screening device (ASD) or evidential breath testing (EBT) device used for the test.

Do I need to become “certified” to conduct DOT alcohol tests?

No, DOT does not ‘certify’ anyone to become a BAT or STT nor does it require an individual to become ‘certified’. The DOT also does not require that a qualified BAT or STT register, be on any federally-maintained or federally-sponsored list. The regulations only require individuals to be qualified before they perform any DOT alcohol tests. Only individuals (not collection sites) wanting to act as BATs or STTs may become qualified to conduct DOT alcohol tests.

What is the difference between STTs and BATs?

STTs are only permitted to conduct alcohol screening tests using an approved ASD, while BATs can perform screening tests using an ASD or EBT and confirmation tests using an approved EBT device. So if a STT conducts a screening test with a result of .020ºC or greater, arrangements should already be in place to have the confirmation test administered within 30 minutes of the screening test by a BAT using an approved EBT device.

What should be the content of the qualification training program and who may conduct it?

To ensure consistency in the training curriculum, the Department published two model training courses; one for BATs and one for STTs (Information on how to purchase these model courses can be found in the last question of this document.). Trainers may use these model training courses or a 11/09/2007 2

course equivalent to the DOT model course. Upon request, trainers may ask DOT to have their course reviewed for equivalency. If the instructor uses a course that is equivalent to the DOT model course, the course must have built in some means of ensuring that the information has been successfully learned.


The qualification training for either the BAT or STT must contain the following elements:

Qualification Training [See 40.213(b)]:

?? Instruction using the DOT model BAT or STT course or an equivalent,

?? Knowledge about Part 40 alcohol testing procedures,

?? Knowledge in the operation of the alcohol testing device to be used,

?? The BAT or STT’s responsibility for maintaining the integrity and credibility of the testing process, ensuring privacy of the employees being tested, and avoiding conduct or statements that could be viewed as offensive or inappropriate.


The qualification training is not intended to be self-taught. The instructor must be a qualified BAT or STT who has demonstrated the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities by:

?? Regularly conducting DOT alcohol tests for a period of at least a year as a BAT or STT,

?? Conducting Part 40 BAT or STT training for a year, or

?? Successfully completing a ‘train-the-trainer’ course.


The course material may be taught in person, conducted by video, by computer programs, via the internet, by video conference, or by other equivalent means.

If other than traditional face-to-face training is used, it is important that the proficiency demonstration occur within a short timeframe of the qualification training (but no more than 30 days). An individual is not qualified to act as a BAT or STT until both the qualification training and proficiency training are successfully completed.

What should be the content of the BAT or STT proficiency demonstration and who can monitor it?

After successfully completing the qualification training program, the BAT-to-be must complete seven (7) consecutive error-free mock tests, while the STT-to-be must complete five (5) [See 40.213(c)]. It is up to the monitor to determine the scenarios for each of the tests. However, the proficiency demonstration should have the student successfully demonstrate the following:

?? Ability to respond to the device’s messages and commands or displays,

?? Actions to take when an error message or malfunction occurs with the device,

?? Ability to conduct an air blank or the knowledge that an air blank has been conducted,

?? Identify and explain actions the technician will take when the device does not function properly,

?? Explain when a check of external calibration check is required, if applicable to the device being used, and identify the procedures used to perform the check,


The proficiency should also contain a self-check test to demonstrate knowledge of and proficiency on the use of the EBT or ASD.

These mock tests are intended to portray a real event conducted with someone (possibly even the instructor) acting as the donor. The tests must be directly observed in real-time by the instructor or clearly able to be monitored in real-time that allow direct interaction between monitor and trainee [See 40.213(c)(1)]. The proficiency monitor must also attest in writing that the mock collections were error-free. [See 40.213(c)(2)]. The use of a ‘check list’ during the mock tests would be acceptable if the use of a check list was part of the training the BAT or STT received and was to be used in real-life tests.

The proficiency monitor does not have to be the same person who taught the qualification training. However, the proficiency monitor must have the same qualifications as an instructor.

What kind of documentation must I keep to show that I’m qualified?

Most organizations/trainers should provide you with a certificate upon successfully completing the entire course. However, BAT or STTs must be prepared to demonstrate to DOT Agency inspectors, employers, and employer designated service agents who may contract for their services (such as C/TPAs) that they are currently eligible to conduct DOT alcohol tests. [See 40.213(g)]

Upon request from a Federal Inspector, you must be prepared to provide sufficient detail on the content of the training and proficiency demonstration so that the Federal Inspector can be confident that you fully met the requirements of the regulation. Examples may include training graduation certificates and/or letters signed by the qualified trainer indicating you attended and successfully completed the course.

Do I have to go through refresher training?

Yes. Each qualified BAT or STT must go through refresher training every five (5) years in order to remain eligible to conduct DOT alcohol tests. [See 40.213(e)] The content of the refresher training must be the same or equivalent to your initial training and proficiency demonstration content. It is expected that you stay current with any changes to the DOT regulations and not wait for the refresher training to learn about them.

Does DOT offer BAT or STT training?

DOT does not offer BAT or STT training, maintain lists of training programs or qualified trainers; nor does it approve, certify or recommend the training programs of any organization or entity.

Organizations may conduct their own training or solicit an outside organization or entity (e.g. professional training service) to do its training. To find such a training service, you may search the yellow pages, the internet or contact industry associations or organizations. 

Where do I find what devices are approved for use for DOT alcohol screening and/or confirmation tests?

Screening tests can only be performed using an approved breath or saliva screening device. Confirmation tests can only be performed using an approved EBT device. All approved devices can be found on the conforming product lists (CPL) published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These CPLs can be found on our home page .

Once I’m qualified, how do I get business?

Becoming a BAT or STT was a business decision. As such, you will need to grow your business according to your business model/plan. Transportation trade shows, the internet or the local yellow pages are a good place to start looking for DOT regulated clients.

Where can I get more information on DOT alcohol testing regulations, the DOT model BAT or STT course, and other DOT regulations?

Visit DOT’s Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance (ODAPC) website at From the home page you can link to the “Breath Alcohol Technician” page which will not only give you direct to those sections of Part 40 that cover alcohol testing procedures, but will also provide information on how to order the DOT model BAT or STT course.

Also, the home page will provide you with various links to information and documents related to all aspects of Part 40, as well as, the DOT Agency regulations.

If you do not have web access, you may call 202-366-3784 and ask for a hardcopy of Part 40 to be mailed to you.


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