Hi, I Am a private job employee today I got a show cause notice regarding being under the influence of alcohol. Since I am im 3 to 12 afternoon shift yesterday I reached my home at nearly 2am and had a birthday party of my friend im which we had consumed drinks which last up to 4 or 4:30am than I went to sleep and today I directly came to office without having food. In office my team leader smells some alcohol smell and reported to admin for testing which was 0.063%. Now today hr gave me show cause notice. But I havenít consumed alcohol today it was the smell of last night drinks.
Plz help me out with this, how should I reply and what can happen to me, since i have only 1 day to reply

From India, Delhi
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Retired Government Servant/advocate
Hr Executive
Nagarkar Vinayak L
Hr And Employee Relations Consultant
Avinash Baloda
Private Employee

Dear Avinash,
Problem of your binge-drinking became evident because of your smell. You could have been cautious on this count. Wikipedia gives information on Blood alcohol content (BAC).
You may give a reply to the show cause notice on not consuming drinks for 10 hours before reporting for the duty.
Your BAc was .063%. But then has your company defined the limits of BAC? Are these mentioned in the standing orders of your company? If the limit has been crossed then your company may take a disciplinary action against you. But then at this stage, other than asking for apology, nothing can be done as such.
If the BAC limits are not defined and if the company takes disciplinary action against you, then you may challenge it. Neither you had consumed alcohol while on duty nor preceding 10 hours before the commence of the duties. However, taking on your company on this is not easy.
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Hi sir,
Thank you very much Mr Dinesh for your help.
One last thing I want to ask you that what things actually i have to mention in my reply to this show cause notice because i am unaware of my companyís BAC limits.

From India, Delhi
Dear Avinash,
It would have helped, had you attached the copy of the SC Notice to draft an appropriate reply.
In the absence of that , you reply that the charges levelled against you are false and are motivated to harass you. You also state that on the day of the alleged charges you performed your normal duties and neither indulged in any indecent behavior nor used any abusive language and caused harm to anyone .( Check for facts as I am stating this on assumption.)
If the management is not satisfied with this reply , they may issue you the charge sheet and proceed to hold domestic enquiry at which stage you approach this forum again for further advice.
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR- Consultant

From India, Mumbai
Below is attachment of my show cause notice regarding under influence of alcohol. I am in 3 to 12 afternoon shift. I reached home at about 2am at home nd had friends birthday party where i had drinks nd went to sleep and directly went to office without having food at 3.00pm . Where at approximately 5.30 my manager came to me nd smelled some alcohol smell nd reported to admin department for alcohol test which was 0.063%. But I havenít drink alcohol at office and not in office hours. It was the smell of last night party.
Plz help me out with this.
And plz tell me what to mention in reply to the notice
I have only today to reply.

From India, Delhi

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Hi Avinash,
I agree with Dinesh that whether the BAC limits have been mentioned in the company policy or on whether you are aware or unaware of these limits, is what can be focused on here. Judging from the letter it is most unlikely that a company code of conduct policy would state in detail BAC limits.
Another factor is that you can also request for copies of the medical test reports conducted by the company so that you can take a second opinion from a medical practitioner on whether the medical test procedures have been conducted correctly.
This is because in India if your BAC is above .030%, you are not permitted to drive. So, if your BAC was found to be at .063% then that should indicate that you were in an intoxicated state in office. This has not been mentioned in the showcause notice issued to you.
Ideally, after drinking, within 6 - 8 hours the alcohol should have been completely metabolised from your blood, but the smell would remain in your breath for at up to 12 hrs. This does not mean that you are drunk.
So, if you had been drinking till 2am and haven't drank alcohol after that, then by 5:30pm, the chances are less that your blood would still hold this much of alcohol content to the level of .063%.
There is therefore the chance that the medical tests may not have been conducted correctly.

From India, Bengaluru
Dear Avinash,
Suggested draft reply as under:
" I have received your show cause notice dated 30 the September,2019 and wish to state that I was not under the influence of liquor on duty as stated by you. Previous night , at my friend's party i did have drinks but reported for work after about 12 hours of having drink. Therefore I reported for duty not in drunken state and performed my normal duties without any act of indecent behaviour.
The alleged alcohol test was not properly carried out and I was not informed of the reading. I was never informed of company's policy or any code of conduct regarding limits of alcohol content beyonds which it amounts to misconduct.
My past record of service is spotless and by any chance I have transgressed any limits, I request you to take lenient view and pardon me."
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR- Consultant

From India, Mumbai
Avinash, The suggested draft above as can be seen is on the basis of some presumptions and you may edit it as per the facts and circumstances. Regards, Vinayak Nagarkar. HR - Consultant.
From India, Mumbai
The crucial issue is whether you were "under the influence of liquor" i.e. indulging in inappropriate behaviour because you were drunken. However, in a administrative proceeding, the degree of proof required is that of preponderance of probability. It would be in your interest if the matter could be settled amicably.
From India, Kochi
Dear colleague,
The sc does not allege that the employee misbehaved under the influence of the liquor. It also does not allege that he was drunken as you have stated . The employee's behaviour will constitute serious misconduct when under the influence of liquor he misbehaves, abuses or fails to perform his normal duties. The consequence of his behavior on other co workers or on the smooth working will be of essence. These facts , if at all so, have not been brought up by the employee or sc notice.
It is questionable if an employee in spite of being under the influence liquor behaves normally and performs his normal duties well can be subjected to disciplinary action. Although I do consider reporting for work with smell of liquor is not a decent act but it should be looked at as minor aberration and does not call for serious action. Let the employee apologize and be let off.
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR- Consultant.

From India, Mumbai

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