Alcohol testing is a kind of substance testing carried out by workplaces, legal institutions, traffic police, medical hospitals and individuals for personal reasons. There are several types of alcohol testing and drug testing procedures to determine the presence of alcohol, its percentage and the extent of its consumption in an individual’s body. The right type of testing method should be chosen keeping in mind the ultimate purpose of the test.
What is ETG testing?
Ethyl Glucuronide (ETG) alcohol is the principal type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, produced by the fermentation of sugars by yeast. It is a direct metabolite of alcohol and detects ethanol ingestion even after it is no longer measurable. Minor exposure to ethanol from common products bought at grocery stores can also cause a positive result. The ETG test is quite sensitive and can easily detect the lowest levels of alcohol.
What are the different types of alcohol testing?
Breath Alcohol Test:
The most commonly used alcohol testing is through the breath analyser as it determines current impairments. This test is mostly used for onsite drug and alcohol testing, and measures the amount of alcohol in an individual’s breath. There is a direct correlation between a person’s breath alcohol level and blood alcohol level. It is performed by a trained breath alcohol technician (BAC). It is suitable for personal uses, legal decisions, employers and business individuals.
ETG Alcohol Testing:
ETG Alcohol Testing is carried out to find the presence of ETG in an individual’s urine and hair. It is essential to note that it is only noticeable when ethanol is consumed and not produced as a result of fermentation. It is undesirable for employee drug testing but is widely used for legal purposes like child custody cases, drug abuse cases, court-ordered cases. Moreover, it is used to detect alcohol when a person is barred from consuming it for any particular reason like on rehabilitation programs or probation programs.
ETG Urine Drug Testing:
A urine ETG test will detect the presence of ETG in the urine after 80 hours of ingestion. It has become popular in companies with a zero-tolerance alcohol policy and for abstinence programs.
ETG Hair Drug Testing:
A hair ETG test detects the presence of ETG within the past 7 to 90 days. Rather than random tests, this test is beneficial in recognising a behavioural issue as it shows chronic excessive alcohol consumption.
Therefore, these tests help to determine the patterned consumption of alcohol in an individual.
Blood Alcohol Tests:
While breath alcohol tests also detect an individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC), sometimes for legal and medical purposes a blood sample is taken to test for the presence of alcohol in the individual’s blood. Blood alcohol tests can be demanded by police officers for legal purposes on one’s refusal to give a breath alcohol test. The results of blood alcohol tests are far more accurate than breath alcohol tests.
What is the procedure of Alcohol testing?
Depending upon the type of alcohol test the required specimen is collected. While a breath alcohol test can be taken by any individual by using the breath analyser, blood, hair and urine alcohol tests require professional laboratory analysis from authentic drug testing services. After receiving the results from the laboratory the penalty is analysed by the employer or the courts depending on the severity of the consumption and situation.
Why does an individual get tested?
To determine if they have consumed ethanol and to measure the level of intoxication to decide upon the penalty.
When does an individual get tested?
- When someone is drunk driving.
- When someone shows signs of intoxication, aggression or drowsiness.
- When someone is suspected of violating the zero-tolerance drug policy of their organisation.
- For legal purposes like child custody cases, drug abuse cases, DWI cases.
- For medical reasons.
- Personal reasons – Parents test their teenage kids if they are suspected of consuming alcohol.
Every individual’s body is different and hence it is mandatory to choose the right type of alcohol testing to be certain, have carefully verified and analysed results. Chances of false positives always persist, therefore a positive test should be verified with another test and professional guidance should be taken from laboratories to double-check and to avoid wrongdoing against anyone.
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