Much attention has been brought to the dangers of drinking and driving. Less is talked about regarding drinking on-the-job, which can be equally dangerous. Not only is an intoxicated worker putting himself and others at-risk, but there is also a good chance a workers’ compensation claim will be denied to that worker should he be injured. (O.C.G.A §34-9-17(b)) However, there are many gray areas surrounding drug and alcohol screens used to determine intoxication on-the-job. An experienced attorney can ensure workers’ rights in the case of an “intoxication defense.”

Although an occupational injury may have arisen out of and through the course of employment, the law and public policy will take the position that the claimant was engaged in “willful misconduct” if it is shown the worker was engaging in recreational drugs or drinking alcohol while on-the-job. This will likely result in the Employer/Insurer’s refusal to pay for any medical treatment or income benefits.  Simply refusing the drug screen generally will not help the injured worker as the law will presume the screen would have been positive.

After any workplace accident, workers are generally requested to undergo drug and alcohol tests. If the test is completed within a specified period of time and shows intoxicant levels above certain thresholds, the employer and insurer can use this evidence against the worker.


  • alcohol screens must be administered within three (3) hours of the industrial accident.  Consequently, the chemical analysis of the claimant’s blood, urine, breath or other bodily substance must be no more than .08 grams.
  • “drug screens” must be administered within eight (8) hours of occupational injury.  If “any amount of marijuana or a controlled substance” is detected, then the Employer/Insurer will likely contest the benefits.

Should the “intoxication defense” be used to trigger a “controvert” or denial of workers’ compensation benefits, the law provides that it is not an absolute bar.  Rather, the law provides for a “rebuttable presumption” be placed upon injured worker. In essence, this is a legal assumption based on the evidence that can lead to a denial of benefits.  An experienced attorney can fight to overcome this “rebuttable presumption” by exploring the injured worker’s use of prescription medicines that are lawfully prescribed and properly used by the claimant.

At the Ramos Law Firm, we specialize in developing individualized strategies for each case, including cases involving “rebuttable presumption.”

If you have been injured on the job and in jeopardy of losing benefits, call the Ramos Law Firm for an analysis of your rights. We practice 100% Georgia workers’ compensation law and carry the highest credentials in the industry as measured by Martindale Hubble and Super Lawyers.





What does it mean to cross-examine as an attorney?

The adverse attorney may “cross-examine” a witness by interrogating him or her in open court. The adverse attorney aims to highlight the deficiencies in the witness’ testimony, expose inconsistencies, or elicit facts that are favorable to the other party. Commonly in...

What is a Bench Trial?

The judiciary is often referred to as the “bench.” A bench trial is a trial where there is no jury and the judge serves two roles: (1) the person vested with the power to protect the procedural safeguards of the trial as to the rules of evidence and conduct of the...

5 Tips to Stay Safe in the Workplace [infographic]

5 Tips to Stay Safe in the Workplace [infographic]

In spite of training about safety, some workplace injuries are inevitable due to the nature of the work itself. However, as you can see in this infographic, you can minimize the casualty or the inflicted injury if you know the risks and hazards around your workplace....



We Fight for You.

The Ramos Law Firm is an award-winning Georgia Law Firm that focuses exclusively on GA Workers' Compensation since 2005.

You Pay Nothing Upfront.

You will not pay anything until after we recover for you. Take the first step, request a free case evaluation at (770) 637-0105

We Care About Your Future. 

There is a reason why some of the top law firms refer their work-related injury cases to us – we’re committed to creating a better future for injured workers in Georgia.

Fill out the contact form below for a free consultation to examine your rights, or call us at (770) 637-0105. Call us even if you've been denied benefits.

Recently injured at work?

Atlanta Workers' Comp Attorneys

Advocating for Georgia's Injured Workers since 2005

Ramos Law Firm
14 Lenox Pointe NE
Atlanta, GA 30324