COAST GUARD: MAGNITUDE OF ALCOHOL PROBLEMS AND RELATED MARITIME ACCIDENTS UNKNOWN
The General Accounting Office (GAO) examined the Coast Guard's (1) procedures to screen merchant mariner applicants for alcohol abusers and (2) readiness to enforce intoxication regulations by testing for alcohol use on board vessels. GAO also attempted to identify the number of applications that were rejected because of alcohol abuse and the number of maritime accidents in which alcohol use was a contributing factor. In addition, GAO made a brief comparison of the Coast Guard's screening procedures and regulations with those of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The following weaknesses in the Coast Guard's efforts to reduce alcohol problems on commercial vessels were found: (1) The documentation and licensing process -- which, among other things, allows the Coast Guard to screen applicants for alcohol problems -- is limited because of gaps in the Coast Guard's legislative authority and insufficient procedures for collecting and verifying relevant information during the application-screening process; (2) The Coast Guard's readiness to enforce intoxication regulations by testing for alcohol use on board vessels is limited because officers do not have the training or equipment to administer intoxication tests upon arrival at a marine accident; and (3) No reporting system capability exists to provide information on the number of merchant mariner applications rejected because of alcohol abuse, the number of marine accidents in which alcohol use was a contributing cause, or other data on alcohol problems in the maritime industry.
- Record URL:
- Report to the Chairman, Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate.
U.S. General Accounting Office441 G Street, NW
Washington, DC United States 20548
- Publication Date: 1990-5
- Features: Appendices; Tables;
- Pagination: 14 p.
- TRT Terms: Alcohol abuse; Crashes; Intoxication; Maritime industry; Merchant seamen; Onboard navigational aids; Regulations; Reports; Screenings; Shipbuilding; Testing
- Identifier Terms: United States Coast Guard
- Uncontrolled Terms: Enforcement; Reporting
- Old TRIS Terms: On board
- Subject Areas: Highways; Law; Marine Transportation; Safety and Human Factors;
- Accession Number: 00497339
- Record Type: Publication
- Report/Paper Numbers: GAO/RCED-90-150
- Files: TRIS
- Created Date: Sep 30 1990 12:00AM