Alcohol testing is used to detect the presence of alcohol or its metabolites in a person to determine if they are currently intoxicated or if they consumed alcohol in the past. Evidential breath alcohol testing instantly indicates the current levels in the individual’s breath, and by proxy, their blood. Urine, blood, and hair specimens can be tested in a lab to indicate prior alcohol consumption. They provide varying windows of detection and sensitivity and can look back up to three months.
Since the different types of tests look at different time periods, the best alcohol test depends on the circumstance. The decision should be guided by the needs of the individual or the organization ordering the test, as well as the type of alcohol use they wish to detect or prevent. You can register for any of our alcohol tests online or by calling (800) 293-0652.
About Alcohol Testing
A urine alcohol test (such as the EtG test) detects alcohol metabolites, which indicates that the person has recently consumed alcohol. A positive result does not necessarily indicate that they are currently intoxicated, but it shows that alcohol was consumed. The basic urine alcohol screen has a detection period of 12 hours. An EtG (ethyl glucuronide) alcohol screen can detect consumption over the past 70 to 80 hours—that is, three days. We recommend a urine alcohol test if you need to ensure that someone has remained abstinent. Basic or EtG tests are frequently used by rehabilitation programs, courts, and divorcing parents in a custody case.
Commonly known as breathalyzers, breath alcohol tests (BATs) are administered by a technician and results are available immediately. Among breathalyzers, Evidential Breath Testing devices (EBTs) are the gold standard. The results of an EBT can be legally used in a court case.
BATs detect current alcohol presence in the bloodstream, from 15 minutes to 24 hours after consumption. Law enforcement uses breathalyzers to confirm drunk driving. Test results are admissible in court if obtained with an EBT. A breath alcohol screening is useful for private parties or employers when someone is required to be sober at a particular time. This may be an employee operating heavy machinery, a divorced parent taking custody of children, or staff members in safety sensitive positions.
The blood alcohol screen, commonly known as the PEth test, indicates if a person has been drinking alcohol regularly or binge drinking within the past 3-4 weeks.
With hair follicle testing, you can determine if someone has been using alcohol steadily or binging over approximately the past 90 days. Hair testing provides the longest window for alcohol detection.
Alcohol Testing vs. Drug Testing
There are small, yet important differences between drug and alcohol testing. A main consideration is that adults over the age of 21 can legally purchase and consume alcohol.
Employment drug tests usually look for illegal drug use in the past days (urine tests) or past months (hair tests). Since alcohol is permissible in private settings, an employer checking for alcohol use should only look for what’s currently in the employee’s system—that is, if they have been drinking on the job.
In divorce agreements or court orders, where a person is supposed to remain alcohol free for their children’s safety or as a condition of probation, it becomes necessary to look at past alcohol use. For these situations, Health Street can test for alcohol consumption in the past:
How Long Does an Alcohol Test Take?
A breathalyzer test is fast, with instantaneous results. With urine, blood and hair tests, a specimen is sent to a lab, which takes one business day if negative, and 3-5 days to confirm positive results.
What is the Price of Alcohol Screening?
At Health Street, a breathalyzer test costs $95, while a basic urine alcohol test is $77. An EtG test is $125, a PEth blood test is $300, and a hair alcohol test is $600.
What Are the Best Alcohol Screening Services?
When comparing services, look for a company that offers convenient testing facilities; fast, reliable, and secure results, and an exemplary record of customer service. Health Street has nationwide clinics and has been providing testing services since 1994.
Health Street Drug and Alcohol Testing Services
We offer a wide range of alcohol and drug testing services, including DOT alcohol testing, for individuals and companies. We can help you to set up an alcohol testing program for your business. In addition to alcohol screening, we provide comprehensive drug testing for a drug-free workplace, background checks, and occupational health services.
Register for our alcohol screening or call for more information.