Why administer a blood alcohol test?
The amount of alcohol (ethanol) present in the human body can be detected using a blood alcohol test. The human blood absorbs alcohol and it can be measured within the body after minutes of having a drink. After an hour has passed of having an alcoholic drink, the level of alcohol in the blood reaches its maximum peak. 10 percent of alcohol in the body is passed out in the urine and the breath you exhale, whereas the remaining 90 percent of it is fragmented and digested in the liver.
Even a small intake of alcohol produces significant effects on the human body. These effects of alcohol on the body are easily noticeable. Alcohol weakens the central nervous system and plays the role of a sedative, especially when consumed in large amounts.
There are different tests that are used to detect alcohol within the human system. A blood alcohol test is one of the alcohol detection tests. It finds out whether an individual is drunk to a legal limit or is intoxicated. A consent form is required to be signed by the individual on whom the blood test will be administered, if the test is being administered for legal reasons. There can be legal consequences for refusing to take the test in such cases.
Why administer a Blood Alcohol Test?
A Blood Alcohol Test may be administered for several reasons:
- In order to check the level of alcohol in the blood of a person who is suspected of being drunk illegally or, in other words, is intoxicated. There are some symptoms of alcohol intoxication that include lack of coordination, confusion, unbalanced walk and unsteadiness which make it difficult to walk or stand. Other symptoms include irregular or unsafe driving.
- Blood alcohol testing is also used to find out the reasons behind changed mental status that includes vague cognitions, confusion, or even coma.
- The test is also used to detect traces of alcohol in the blood when the intake of alcohol is banned for an individual. Such cases include people that are underage and are suspected of drinking or people who are enrolled in alcohol treatment plans.
How to Prepare for a Blood Alcohol Test?
Blood alcohol testss do not require any special preparations. However, there are certain medications that alter the results of a blood alcohol test. In order to avoid this, make sure that your doctor is aware of all the prescription and nonprescription medications that you take.
How a Blood Alcohol Test is administered?
- The health professional administering the test should sterilize the needle site with a non-alcoholic solution that can be povidone-iodine or antiseptic soap.
- An elastic band should be wrapped around the upper arm in order to stop the flow of blood. The vein below the band swells so the needle can be easily inserted into it.
- The needle is inserted into the vein. This may require more than one needle prick.
- A tube is attached to the needle in order to fill it with blood.
- The band from the upper arm is removed after enough blood is collected in the tube.
- A gauze pad or a cotton ball is placed at the needle site once the needle is removed.
- The needle site is pressed and then a bandage is put on it.
If the person is found to be over the legal limit of BAC, they may be facing criminal charges if they get themselves and others in trouble. They will then need to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney to fight their case.