Salt Lake County employees suspected of working while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be suspended from their duties and required to submit to drug testing, according to a new policy approved by county commissioners.

The policy will not be implemented countywide but will serve as a model for all county departments, divisions and agencies, which are each responsible for adopting their own drug-and-alcohol policies.However, in a memo to county administrators, commissioners urged "in the very strongest terms" that departments adopt the model or consider whether their existing drug-and-alcohol policies are adequate.

The model policy states employee abuse of illegal drugs, alcohol and prescription medications will not be tolerated. Employees are prohibited from using those substances while working, except as prescribed by a doctor, and from reporting for a work shift or operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.