Johnnie Stringer Moving and Storage, in Columbia, Miss., has had no drug or alcohol problems among its 50 employees. Nevertheless, the company had to jump into full-scale testing to comply with the requirements of its large customers, such as Exxon. It didn't like the plunge. "Every time we had random testing," says Frances Williamson, the safety coordinator at Stringer, "we had to subject employees to a blood alcohol test." The tests were physically intrusive and cost $97 each.

The solution? With its customers' approval, the company substituted a breath test (see "Testing Options," September 1992, [Article link]) that costs $1.50 per test. If it signifies the presence of alcohol, the company does a blood test. If not, the company saves $95.50 per person -- and eliminates those awful needles. -- Ellyn E. Spragins