What Is an Alcohol Test and How Does It Work?

We all know that drinking and driving is dangerous. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there was an alcohol-impaired traffic fatality occurrence every 48 minutes back in 2017. So how can an alcohol test help keep us safe?

Here are our top benefits of alcohol testing and how an alcohol test really works.

How an Alcohol Test Works

An alcohol test works by measuring the concentration of ethanol in an individual’s breath. Thankfully, a deep understanding of chemistry is not needed to see the effects and behind-the-scenes of alcohol tests.

Ethanol is a type of alcohol. By breathing into a breathalyzer alcohol test, the small device first measures a consistent rate of breath. It is very important for the breathalyzer to determine when the breath rate is consistent. Individuals of various sizes will have varying strengths in breath. Measuring against one strength can ruin results.

Next, the device compares the ethanol content of the atmosphere to the individual’s breath. This allows the device to compute an individuals’ Blood Alcohol Content or BAC.

Alcohol Urine Test

Alcohol urine tests operate in a similar vein to breathalyzers. Instead of measuring a breath’s ethanol concentration, a urine test most often tests for ethyl glucuronide (EtG). This is because ethanol does not remain in the body after drinking for very long.

By testing for EtG concentrations instead, a urine test can determine if and how much someone was drinking within the time-span of 12-48 hours past. More advanced (and more expensive) versions of the test can measure alcohol concentration up to 80 hours after drinking.

There are many other methods of alcohol testing, including saliva and hair sample testing. However, the breathalyzer and 

In the United States, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle when your BAC is above 0.08%. However, your judgment can be impaired even if your BAC is below 0.08%.

Ensuring Workplace Safety with an Alcohol Test

Hiring a professional company to perform a drug and alcohol test can ensure safety at professionalism at your company.

Drug and/or alcohol tests can be used as a hiring requirement, or even as a resource if a problem has been identified at work. If your workplace has a strict no-alcohol policy, random alcohol testing can be a smart way to ensure safety.

This is especially true if you work in an industry that operates vehicles or works with minors in any way. 

Alcohol Testing for Safety and Security

If you are having doubts about the safety of your workplace or even the health of a friend or family member, consider turning to an alcohol test as a measuring device for the issue at hand.

A breathalyzer can be a handy tool to use on and off the road. Instead of risking driving while impaired, consider using breathalyzer at home or a friend’s house. Often after drinking, we are not aware enough to determine whether driving or not is a good idea.

With a breathalyzer handy, we can defer this decision to the numbers and statistics.

For workplace safety, explore companies and services that administer urine and alcohol tests today. This can be helpful if you’ve noticed problems with individuals at work and/or for hiring requirements as well.

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Ted Jones