- The Washington Times - Friday, April 8, 2016

Pressure is mounting for the mayor of Bossier City, Louisiana, to walk back a new policy that allows municipal employees to work after drinking alcohol.

Effective April 1, Bossier City employees are allowed to have a blood alcohol content of up to .04 percent while on the clock — halfway to the legal limit for driving an automobile.

But Bossier City Mayor Lorenz Walker was pressured Tuesday during a city council meeting to reconsider the policy change, and could perhaps revert to a zero-tolerance rule as early as next week.

Councilman Don Williams raised the issue during Tuesday’s meeting and told the Shreveport Times that he plans to ask colleagues to approve a new zero-tolerance policy the next time they meet.

According to the councilman, the mayor’s decision to suddenly drop the zero-tolerance rule Monday this week stems from a recent incident in which a Bossier City employee was involved in an accident while operating a piece of heavy machinery the day after a night of drinking.



Mr. Williams claims department heads asked the mayor to ditch the zero-tolerance policy in response, which would have otherwise guaranteed the employee’s termination.

“This sounds like something that was done in the old days,” Mr. Walker told a local ABC News affiliate. “Under the table, greasy, not fairly done. … There have been several instances of alcohol-related incidents and the mayor uses his policy the way he wants to interpret it. Just as in the case now.”

Mr. Walker did not discuss the incident specifically during Tuesday’s council meeting, but said the policy change was prompted by concerns that “a good employee” was about to be lost as a result of the zero-tolerance rule, the Times reported. He signed the measure a day earlier, and dated it to reflect the beginning of April — a customary procedure, city spokesman Mark Natale told the newspaper.

Mr. Natale said the mayor is reviewing the policy before commenting publicly, the Times reported.

An adult male can typically begin to show signs of impairment once they have a blood alcohol content of .02, or about two drinks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Commercial drivers can be charged with alcohol-related offenses in most of the U.S. once they reach .04.

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