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                                                                 Alcohol Drug Testing 

 

While the vast majority of drug tests are for marijuana, opiates, and similar, an alcohol drug test is just as popular and is conducted on a daily basis by police officers, employers, and anyone else who sees fit to do so.
An alcohol drug test will determine the blood alcohol level that the person getting tested holds. In different states, provinces, and territories, a different blood alcohol level will be considered over the legal limit. This is something that is really important to assure that no impaired drivers are putting everyone on the road in danger.


First off, let's look at the alcohol drug test into greater detail :

The measurement that is used in a blood alcohol test is the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) which can make a judgement of how impaired the person getting tested is from alcohol. It basically looks at the amount of alcohol in the personsí blood. Compare it to being in a house in a fire and stuck in a room but the flames canít get at you. The more smoke that gets to you, the closer you are to death. Well, with alcohol, the more alcohol you consume, the more impaired you become. It does not really take much alcohol to be classified as impaired or over the legal limit.
The method that is used to conduct the blood alcohol test is called Gas Chromatography which is the strongest method when it comes to being efficient and is the most accurate method that is used to date to check a personsí blood alcohol level. On the other side of the argument, taking a sample of someoneís blood is expensive and a little bit of a pain to do so and it is likely that most people looking to get someone tested will just pass it up. Keep in mind that alcohol usually only stays in your blood for about half a day.

The most common method used to perform an alcohol drug test would be the breath analyzer. It has been discovered that there is a relationship between a personsí breath alcohol contents and their BAC (blood alcohol concentration/level). There are different types of breath analyzers, and they can vary from a single use home kit to a more expensive tester that has a digital screen to display the blood alcohol level.

There are ways of beating a breath analyzer, unlike the blood test, but they are a little out there. Whether it actually works or not, one method that was suggested is to place a penny in your mouth and get the taste in your mouth and then chew on a piece of gum. There is a possibility that copper will react in a way that the alcohol will not be noticed (as much).

The more expensive breath analyzer testing device is rather expensive and can cost anywhere from $2, 500 to $5, 000 just for a single unit. To keep them running properly, they will also require be taking care of on a regular basis, fixing, and going through a calibration process. The operator of this specific device must be certified to operate it as well. This particular testing device is rather large in size and would be considered a table top device. If the actual device is moved, the calibration can be offset and it will need to be repaired. There is a sterile mouth piece which will need to be used every time it is used.

On the cheaper side of things, but still a little expensive, you can get a hand held alcohol drug testing device which will still offer you pretty accurate results and work mainly for screening. A portable blood alcohol level testing device will measure the breath content and give a fairly accurate reading of the results in the form of the blood alcohol level of the person getting tested.
While portable testing devices are not as accurate as the table top ones, the price difference is staggering. Hand held blood alcohol testing devices are actually affordable, not just for the work place, but for home use as well. The main problem with portable testing devices is that most are not considered evidential and canít be used in court as evidence.

Then you have the final type of alcohol drug testing device which would be thee disposable devices. There is nothing special about a throw away testing device and they definitely donít hold up nearly as much accuracy as the other two devices do. The methods that the device uses to get results are not as strong as the ones of the other two devices that were mentioned. Disposable testing devices can tell you if someone is drinking, and give you a rough idea of how impaired the person is, but it is not capable of pinpointing nearly the exact blood alcohol level of the person being tested.

The way that the single use disposable breath analyzer works is that the ethyl alcohol in your blood will travel through your lung tissue and follow your breathing. In the breath analyzer, there are some sensitive crystals that are chemically coated and if there is a finding of ethyl alcohol in the personsí breath, the crystals will change colors. If there is a presence of alcohol, the color of the crystals will transition from yellow to blue immediately. If every crystal transitions to blue, it will tell you that your blood alcohol level is a minimum of a tenth of a percent (0.1%) and that is over the legal limit in the majority of states, provinces, and territories.

Another method to test for alcohol in a personsí system would be a simple urine test. The main down fall with a urine alcohol test is that it will only notify you of a presence of alcohol in the personsí system and not how impaired the person is. It takes about ten to fifteen minutes for alcohol to find itsí way to your blood which it enters through your stomach, which will cause you to become impaired (but to only a certain level Ė the more alcohol, the more impaired). After the alcohol is in your blood, it will start the metabolizing period and within an hour or two it will start to find itsí way in your urine Ė notice that when you drink, even a small amount, you always find the need to urinate a lot. Therefore, you can determine that a urine test will only tell you what kind of condition the person was in a few hours ago, and not what kind of condition the person is in as of the time of the test.

As well, urine tests donít directly correlate with blood alcohol concentration. The urine alcohol concentration level will change based on the personsí metabolism rate and the amount of fluid that is inside him. An idea of this is that someone who is a little dry or dehydrated will typically hold a stronger alcohol concentration level in his urine than someone who is not dry or dehydrated.

Alcohol will generally stay in your urine anywhere from 6 hours to a day but can vary from person to person depending on a few factors which would definitely include your metabolism rate and the amount of alcohol you consume.

Some studies have concluded that urine tests can come out with positive results even though the person was not drinking. If a high amount of sugar and acetone is found in the body, it can lead to fermentation in your urine which will make the test believe that there is alcohol in the urine. With everything in mind, the urine test is definitely the least effective or efficient test to use.

Another method of testing which is rather simple is to use the saliva alcohol test. This is another type of test which can be used with a throw away device. The saliva testing devices on the market today allow you to test saliva for a presence of alcohol. Even though it is believed that there is a direct relationship between saliva alcohol concentration levels and blood alcohol concentration levels, the technology that is used for this test has never been proven to be fully accurate or trustworthy.

One of the main things that can cause false results in a saliva alcohol test would be the temperature. If a very hot temperature is mixed into the readings, it will result in really high readings for alcohol, but if a really cold temperature is mixed into the readings, it will result in really low readings for alcohol. There is not really much good to say about saliva alcohol testing devices except that they are rather cheap, compactable, and easy to use whenever, and can give you okay readings at times Ė but for anything on a more serious level, they are rubbish.

So, we can conclude that there are various methods to perform an alcohol drug test but the simplest and easiest would be a breath analyzer, however there are different levels of devices that vary from very accurate to good for personal use to give you an okay reading that should be able to determine if you are over or under the legal limit in your state, province, or territory.