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Pat Sajak Admits to Being Drunk at 'Wheel'

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By Andrew Chow, Esq. on January 26, 2012 3:06 PM

In a video clip that's gone viral, Pat Sajak of TV's "Wheel of Fortune" admits to an HWI -- hosting a game show while intoxicated.

"Yes. When I first started and was much younger and could tolerate those things," Sajak said during an ESPN2 talk show on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Pat Sajak and co-host Vanna White routinely tossed back "two or three or six" margaritas between tapings of "Wheel of Fortune" in the early 1980s, Sajak said. (When pressed for the actual number of drinks, Sajak replied, "I think the average number was cuatro.")

Upon returning from their margarita break, Pat Sajak and Vanna White would "have trouble recognizing the alphabet -- they're really good tapes to get hold of," Sajak said jokingly. You can watch the interview here:

Though the "Wheel of Fortune" host may not have to worry about being drunk at work, that's not the case for most Americans. Many employers have policies that call for investigation, discipline, or even dismissal if a worker shows up intoxicated, according to the website Personnel Today.

State and federal laws oversee workplace alcohol testing. Similar to drug testing, there are some general scenarios in which alcohol testing may occur:

  • Post-accident: After an incident in which impaired performance may have been a factor.
  • Reasonable suspicion: When a worker's on-the-job behavior or appearance gives an employer "cause" to suspect alcohol abuse.
  • Random: Unannounced tests for alcohol use, generally only for jobs that require random tests, such as driving a commercial truck.
  • Return-to-duty/Follow-up: When a policy violator returns to work, follow-up tests may be unannounced, and may continue at irregular intervals as specified in the employer's alcohol-use policy.

Laws about workplace alcohol use and testing are more complicated than Pat Sajak's drunk "Wheel of Fortune" admission may suggest. You may want to consult a local employment attorney to learn what's allowed where you live.

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