Denzel’s Flight sheds light on the importance of alcohol testing

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I loved Denzel before – but I really love him now. if you haven’t seen Flight, make sure to carve out some time to go see it. Especially if you are in charge of drug & alcohol testing for your workplace and/or if you fall under DOT guidelines. It’s a great motivator for staying disciplined in drug and alcohol testing employees – especially those in safety-sensitive positions. While it may not be the most realistic portrayal of the airlines industry, the story line brings motivation that drug and alcohol testing is important.

Flight sheds light on alcohol problems

Flight stars Denzel Washington who plays Whip Whitaker, a pilot who miraculously lands an aircraft that experienced mechanical problems. While the mechanical problems were the cause of the accident and emergency landing (which did end in some casualties), Whitaker’s toxicology report becomes the subject of the movie. Whitaker had consumed alcohol and drugs before flying and even during flight. The movie unfolds a story about one pilot’s struggle with alcoholism and the pilot union’s attempt to help him keep his wings and their reputation. We won’t spoil the movie for you, but it’s a great flick that brings about much conviction for alcohol testing and helping those who struggle with alcoholism.

Alcohol testing for pilots and other transportation workers

Although the movie is a great dramatic thriller, it’s important to not get too scared at the fear or hype of flying in an aircraft. The FAA randomly and routinely tests pilots for drugs & alcohol. Pilots may not fly if their blood-alcohol limit is above .04 percent. They are also prohibited from drinking alcohol within eight hours of duty. While the movie does a great job at gripping our emotions, it doesn’t show the full story when it comes to the DOT and seriousness of drugs and alcohol. Do some pilots struggle with alcohol, like Whip, in the movie? Sure. But according to one pilot who was unhappy with the movie, the film’s portrayal of pilots and alcohol doesn’t quite hit the mark.

Alcohol testing your employees

Although there are some fans and some critics out there when it comes to Flight, most would agree that in the end – the message of sober pilots and alcohol testing is solid and universal. Especially in jobs where workers are responsible for transporting the public, strict alcohol testing must be involved. If you’re in transportation and fall under DOT alcohol testing guidelines, Test Smartly Labs can help. Our franchise has many locations across the country that are all DOT-certified. Don’t let your employees be the star of the next movie or news story – make sure they’re sober before they take off.



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