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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 a history of prior consumption. 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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Urine Alcohol Tests

Urine alcohol tests (such as EtG tests) detect the presence of alcohol metabolites, indicating consumption in the recent past. These tests are not typically used by employers, since they could inadvertently detect legal alcohol usage by employees during non-work hours. Urine alcohol is more often used when an individual is required to be completely abstinent from alcohol, such as in a court order or rehabilitation program. In these instances, urine alcohol tests are extremely effective and informative.

Urine Alcohol Testing

Breath Alcohol Tests

Breath alcohol tests (commonly called breathalyzers) are tests administered by a technician in which results are provided right on the spot. Health Street only uses DOT approved Evidential Breath Testing devices (EBTs). This ensures that results of our breath alcohol tests can be upheld in a court of law, including labor hearings.

Breath Alcohol Tests (BATs) do not look back at prior alcohol usage. Instead, BATs detect the current presence of alcohol in the bloodstream. This is same methodology (and, often, the same breathalyzer equipment) used by the police to detect drunk driving. Breath alcohol tests should be ordered when someone is required to be sober at the current time – such as when operating heavy machinery or performing safety sensitive duties.

Breath Alcohol Testing

Blood (Peth) Alcohol Tests

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

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

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.