By ADA regulations I think the department can offer treatment first because alcohol abuse is considered a medical illness. Our department had an engineer show up to work one day and that station was picked for random drug testing. The results showed he had a BAL close to 0.08. About 4hrs later she felt she made a mistake and returned to the station for a 2nd test. He showed a .180 BAL. He was driving a 37 ft airial ladder. He was subsequently taken off line but refused rehab. and was fired. Imagine the danger to the firefighters. This was not his first + BAL
Not only a + BAL but the lack of concern for others and the risk .that he created should be taken into consideration.
One needs to look at things in this issue in context. Your example here, I'm guessing, stems from experience within your own dept. Your profile states you are retired from a FT career dept. The OP's profile here states he belongs to a volunteer dept. Now not to tee off all those with the "we do the same job" mentality, but we seriously have to look at the differences at stake here.
Your example, judging by profile, that said person showed up to work in an inebriated state, let alone tasked to drive, yes, quite serious indeed. The OP's question stems from a dept training in which the person in question shows up inebriated or at least alledgedly inebriated. The person in your example knows they have a job and knows when they are scheduled to work. Showing up to work under the influence is wrong and he should have known better.
In this case you have a member, assuming volunteer, shows up to training after a couple drinks, and if he should be booted from the company. IMO, no, unless there was a chronic history of this occurring. Who knows, he could of had an off day went golfing, had a couple drinks, thought they would wear off by training time. He could of finished his regular job early and went out with the guys from work for a couple, or whatever else reasoning you wish to find. THAT is my reasoning for my response, there is a difference between a FF with a chronic habit of showing up inebriated ( a sign of a problem) and one who just perhaps had a couple too many before training. I would say this would be another matter if showing up on responses like this, but we are talking training and there should be some benefit of doubt......as such to boot a guy from a company for such a situation isn't necessary.
....However, your assessment of your example under ADA etc does lead to its own debate. Just because a person shows up inebriated doesn't mean that there is a history of alcohol abuse either. I see some holes in the example because the person in question was tested TWICE in the same day and subsequently taken off line, refused rehab and was fired. So how far does this timeline go? Showing up once is not an indicator of alcohol abuse and there should probably be some other documentation leading up to termination vs one day type of thing. Besides if a person who is intoxicated can not legally sign his own HIPPA form nor a release of medical care, then how could they be considered in their right mind to make a decision on rehab etc. There are just too many holes. Such a person should be first, sent home, perhaps without pay, perhaps a warning or some type of administrative punishment, given a second chance, monitored for a period of time subject to random testing etc, vs being tested twice in the same day and terminated.
I agree with you. And thanks for your comments.
To the confusion that this short note created. It was not his first time, had been given a previous warning, and his behavior after the incident contributed to his dismissal.
And I agree with your pd./vol. requiremnts. All those situation can happen. Being a Monday quaterback we get only part of the picture or a distorted picture from anothers perspective.
Each one is individual and should be treated that way based on the actual events.