Why is the urine alcohol test administered?
Many agencies, companies and other institutions use urine alcohol tests to detect the presence of alcohol in the system. The duration for which the urine alcohol test can be administered depends on several factors. There are two kinds of Urine Alcohol Tests:
- The first test detects the presence of alcohol in the urine. After the consumption of alcohol, some of it is digested in the body and the rest leaves the body through breath, perspiration, feces and urine. There is one drawback of the test, that it cannot detect alcohol for a long time after it has left the body; it leaves the system somewhat swiftly.
- The second type of alcohol urine test detects alcohol in the system by looking for a by-product. This by-product results from the fragmentation of alcohol in the body. This by-product is Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG). The advantage of this test is that this by-product remains in the body long after alcohol has left. EtG remains in the system for a duration of 3-4 days approximately. However, this claim varies among people.
Uses of Alcohol Urine Test
These tests have wider uses as they can detect alcohol in the urine for longer periods of time than other traditional urine alcohol tests. They can be used when a person is banned from drinking alcohol for a definite period of time. Examples of individuals for whom this test can be used are written below:
- People who are underage and are suspected of illegal drinking.
- Military personnel during their services in a war zone where they are not allowed to drink.
- Someone who is on probation because of alcohol-related crimes.
- People with previous alcohol problems but have custody of children and visitation.
- People who have been guilty of drunk driving previously and must abstain. The tests are administered to keep their licenses.
- Some conditions of employment include that a certain individual must abstain from alcohol because he or she exhibited alcohol-related problems previously. These conditions are usually for airline pilots, medical professionals and lawyers.
- EtG urine Alcohol tests are also used by clinicians in order to motivate their clients to abstain further.
- The tests can also be used by researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of a certain alcohol intervention plan.
- The tests may be used by parents to discourage underage drinking. This use is highly promoted by sellers of these test kits. However, the American Association of Pediatrics is highly hesitant of the view.
Limitations of the EtG Urine Alcohol Tests
- The test is not valid for people who are capable of drinking in their own time. An alcohol breath test is better for such individuals. Again there are many issues with the authenticity of Alcohol Breath Tests.
- Several problems have appeared. For example, some trustworthy people reported that they were positive on the test without having being drunk for very long periods of time. Some of the published researches also suggested the unreliability of the test. There have been cases that gave false positive results.
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