What Is an Alcohol Urine Test? Finding yourself in a position to need a drug test can create anxiety.
You may feel especially anxious if you don’t know anything about the test or how it works.
If you need an alcohol urine test for any reason, you should gather as much information as possible. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is the Alcohol Urine Test?
Also referred to as EtG, the alcohol urine test does not actually look for alcohol in your system.
Instead, passing the alcohol urine test means a person has abstained from alcohol use.
This lab test checks for the breakdown agent of ethanol called ethyl glucuronide. This active ingredient causes people to feel drunk.
The ethyl glucuronide lingers in your system as your body processes it out. This byproduct of alcohol intoxication can stay in a person’s urine for up to 5 days.
This means you may fail the test even if you drank days ago. Unfortunately, anything containing any level of alcohol can potentially cause a failed drug test.
Faults with the Test
Daily products that can cause a false positive on the test include
- Alcohol flavoring in foods
- Hand sanitizer
- Mouth wash
- Breath spray
- Over-the-counter cold and cough medications
- Hair dye
Read labels carefully in the days approaching your EtG.
Reading the EtG Results
Though it doesn’t measure the exact amount of alcohol consumed or tell if a person is currently intoxicated, this test gives an idea of how long ago the person drank based on the level.
Unfortunately, if the individual drank a lot, days ago, it may look similar to a person who consumed one drink that same day.
This test uses the following cutoff values.
High Positive (>1,000ng/mL)
This level indicates heavy drinking the day before or the same day as the test.
It could also mean the person drank lightly the same day.
Low Positive (500 to 1,000ng/mL)
This could indicate light drinking within the past 24 hours or heavy drinking within the past 3 days.
It could also mean the person used a product containing alcohol within the past day.
Very Low Positive (100-500ng/mL)
This result could show alcohol use within the past 36 hours.
Again, though, it could simply show that a person recently used everyday products that contained alcohol.
Often, somebody administers this test in situations where an individual is not permitted to drink.
This may include:
- A place of employment
- Drug or alcohol rehab programs
- The military
In any of these places, a failed test can lead to serious consequences.
Alcohol BAC Urine Test
You may get tested for alcohol in the urine by other means as well, such as the BAC.
This test provides a more accurate reading than the EtG, as it tells about current alcohol use.
With this test, they measure the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream. Depending on how much you drink, alcohol may stay in your bloodstream for up to 24 hours.
They measure BAC by the weight of ethanol, in grams, in 100 milliliters of blood. When measured through the urine, they divide it by 1.33, as more alcohol comes out than what stays in you.
Know Before You Go
Make sure you know all about drug or alcohol urine tests prior to taking them.
One misunderstanding can put you in a bad position.
We hope you choose a healthy lifestyle that does not create panic over tests like this. Read more health tips like this on our website.
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What Is an Alcohol Urine Test?
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