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Alcohol Test

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An alcohol test is a forensic screening that identifies the presence of alcohol or it's metabolites in a person in order to assess either current intoxication or consumption of alcohol in the recent past. Professional breath alcohol testing can instantly determine the current level of alcohol in the blood. On the other hand, urine, blood, and hair specimens can be tested in a laboratory to identify prior alcohol consumption with varying sensitivities and windows of detection. Different types of alcohol tests are appropriate for different circumstances.

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About Alcohol Test

Urine Alcohol Tests

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Urine alcohol tests (such as EtG tests) detect the presence of alcohol metabolites, indicating consumption of alcohol, either presently or in the recent past. A positive result is not necessarily indicative of current intoxication, but it does show that alcohol was consumed. A basic urine alcohol screening checks for consumption in the most recent 12 hour period, whereas an EtG alcohol test can pick up consumption over the past 70 to 80 hours, i.e., the past 3 days. Urine alcohol tests are typically ordered to ensure someone has remained abstinent from alcohol. Courts, divorcing parents, and rehabilitation programs frequently request basic or EtG urine alcohol tests.

Urine Alcohol Testing

Breath Alcohol Tests

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Breath alcohol tests (commonly called breathalyzers) are tests administered by a technician in which results are provided right on the spot. Evidential Breath Testing devices (EBTs) are the gold standard in breathalyzers. The results of a breath alcohol test that is conducted using an Evidential Breath Testing device (i.e., an EBT) can be used in a court of law.

Breath alcohol tests (BATs) detect the current presence of alcohol in the bloodstream. Police use BATs, commonly called breathalyzers, to detect drunk driving - and the results are court admissible if conducted using an EBT. Private parties, employers, and divorced or divorcing parents frequently order breath alcohol tests when the other party is required to be sober at the current time – such as when operating heavy machinery, taking custody of minor children, or performing safety sensitive duties.

Breath Alcohol Testing

Blood (Peth) Alcohol Tests

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The blood alcohol test known as the Peth test determines if someone has been binging or using alcohol regularly over a period of time roughly equivalent to the prior 3-4 weeks.

Peth Alcohol Test

Hair Alcohol Tests

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Hair Alcohol Tests determines if someone has been binging or using alcohol regularly over a period of time roughly equivalent to the prior 90 days.

Hair Alcohol Test

Alcohol Testing vs. Drug Testing

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An alcohol test is different from a drug test in small – but important – ways. First and foremost, as everyone knows, alcohol is legal to purchase and consume for adults over the age of 21. Drug tests, on the one hand, typically look for evidence of illegal drugs consumed in the past several days (in the case of urine tests) or in the past several months (in the case of hair tests). On the contrary, because alcohol is perfectly permissible in most private settings, employer tests for alcohol should only examine what’s currently in the system; in other words, they test for the immediate presence of alcohol in the body.

In private cases, such as court orders or agreements between former spouses to remain alcohol free for the safety of the children, it is often necessary to look back for the presence of alcohol. In those situations, Health Street can determine if alcohol was consumed over the past 70 to 80 hours using a urine test, 3 weeks for a blood test, or 90 days using a hair test.

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