Amendments to the Act on Sober Upbringing and Counteracting Alcoholism went into force on 1 July 2011. (Act on Sober Upbringing and Counteracting Alcoholism dated 26 October 1982, unified text at Journal of Laws Dz.U. 2007 No. 70 item 473, amended by the Act on Limiting Administrative Barriers for Citizens and Businesses dated 25 March 2011, Journal of Laws Dz.U. 2011 No. 106 item 622)

Some of the changes concern entities authorized to initiate and conduct testing of the sobriety of an employee who is not permitted to work because of a justified suspicion that he showed up for work intoxicated or consumed alcohol during working time.

Previously, in such circumstances, only the employee could demand a test of his own sobriety, and the regulations did not identify the entities that could conduct such testing.

Now the director of the workplace or another person appointed by the director may also demand a sobriety test of an employee. This change thus enables the employer to conduct a sobriety test without the consent of the employee, which was not possible under prior law.

Sobriety testing may be conducted only by an authority appointed for protection of public order, with the procedure of taking a blood sample from the employee being conducted by a professional employee of the health service. This provision excludes the possibility of a sobriety test of an employee being conducted personally by the director of the workplace or person appointed by the director, for example using a breathalyzer.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.