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The Nation : Sobriety New Rule of Rails

February 11, 1986

The government imposed regulations on railroad employees, for the first time prohibiting them from reporting to work drunk or drugged, and banning consumption of alcohol or other drugs on the job. The new rules go into effect 12 years after the National Transportation Safety Board, an independent federal panel, urged the Transportation Department to adopt them. Since 1975, the government has recorded 48 train accidents caused by drunk or drug-impaired workers. These resulted in 37 deaths, 80 injuries and $34 million in property damage. The regulations, which were fought by railroad unions, also require railroad workers involved in major accidents to undergo testing for alcohol and drug use.

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