New Serious Marine Accident (SMI) Alcohol and Drug Testing Requirements from the US Coast Guard Taking Effect June 20, 2006

As of June 20, 2006 all commercial vessels which are more than 2 hours from an open collection site capable of performing alcohol or drug testing, are required to have a alcohol test device(s) on board to administer to each person involved in a marine accident, as well as report for a drug test to the closest facility.  If you would like to see the full rule, click on the Federal Register link below or the PDF link. 

Who Does This Affect?

This final rule revises Coast Guard requirements for alcohol testing after a serious marine incident to ensure that mariners or their employees involved in a serious marine incident are tested for alcohol use within 2 hours of the occurrence of the incident as required under the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1998.  The statute requiring alcohol testing after an SMI (46 U.S.C. 2303a), does not provide for an exemption based on the size of the crew or the crew's safety history. The rule does allow relatively inexpensive Alcohol Screening Devices (ASDs) to be used provided the proper procedures are taken. 

Collection Site:

If you operate at all outside the site's business hours of operation (early mornings, evenings, weekends etc.), or two hours or more from the site during normal business hours, you will need to have an alcohol test kit (with applicable steps in using the device)  for each person aboard your vessel. You are also required to maintain a Chain-Of-Custody Form (CCF) for the drug test.  The Coast Guard 2692 and 2692B forms must be completed for the alcohol test.  In addition, you must have a copy of the regulation on SMI.

Necessary Paperwork:

  • Coast Guard Form 2692 and 2692B (must be completed for Alcohol Test)
  • Chain-Of-Custody Form (CCF) For Drug Test
  • The Applicable Steps Using The Alcohol Device
  • Regulation On SMI - PDF


Alcohol devices are available on the Internet. ASTS recommends Alco Screen 02, which is approved for DOT testing. CCF's can be ordered directly from this site by clicking on the “CCF Request” button and completing the necessary information.

ASTS recommends that you maintain a tear and waterproof USCG Compliance package aboard for each member.  The packets must contain an Alcohol Testing Device (with instructions), CCF (for drug testing), Post Accident instructions (including required Federal Forms), and a list of nearest collection sites.