Compliance Corner: The Facts about a Serious Marine Incident – Part 1

Basic Requirements SMI Alcohol Testing

The marine employer is responsible for having the alcohol testing completed within 2 hours following a serious marine incident (SMI); if there are safety concerns to be met, then testing may be delayed until the safety concerns have been addressed. No testing is required after 8 hours for alcohol. Beverages containing alcohol, including mouthwashes, are not permitted to be used until after the alcohol testing has been completed.

Alcohol testing devices must be listed on the current Conforming Product List (CPL). The use of any device that is not listed on the CPL and published by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ( will not be acceptable. This includes devices that may be listed on lists from another source, country, region, etc.

There are two approved devices on the CPLs:

  • Evidential Breath Testing Devices (EBTs)
  • Alcohol Screen Devices (ASDs)

(a) If it is determined that a vessel is not in compliance, that vessel/marine employer is subject to civil penalty action.

From the COAST GUARD MID ATLANTIC Official Blog of the 5th Coast Guard District. Definition of a Serious Marine Incident.


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