Blood Alcohol Testing

Blood alcohol testing measures the amount of alcohol (ethanol) in your body. Alcohol is quickly absorbed into the blood and can be measured within 40 to 70 minutes after you have consumed any alcoholic drink. The amount of alcohol in the blood reaches its highest level about an hour after drinking. However, food in the stomach may increase the amount of time it takes for the blood alcohol to reach its highest level.

One methodology used for testing blood alcohol is called Gas Chromatography and is the most accurate forensic quality test in the industry today. However, drawing blood is an invasive and expensive procedure that most companies prefer to avoid.

Testing the urine alcohol

Such tests are not as accurate as the blood or breath tests. Urine indicates the alcohol in the body but not the person’s present condition. In other words, alcohol is metabolized by the body and appears in the urine after almost 2 hours. It’s obvious that what a urine test measures is the condition of the person 2 hours before his present state.

More than this, urine alcohol concentration does not have the same correlation to blood alcohol concentration because it depends on the person’s metabolism. If you have a lot of liquids in your body, your alcohol concentration will show lower. Another inconvenience is that it is not readily available since the sample is tested at a laboratory, hours after the collection. Therefore, it is not helpful in the case of an emergency or when time plays an important role.

Testing the saliva alcohol

There is a correlation between blood alcohol concentration and saliva alcohol concentration but the technology is not fully reliable. Although some saliva testers seem to indicate the presence of alcohol, high or low cold temperatures easily affect the enzyme alcohol oxidize used in these testers. However, the saliva test is a screening method only, as are any alcohol tests that are not done under controlled conditions. This means that any result, which is non-negative, is considered a presumptive positive and has to be confirmed in order to be legally defensible.

Learn more about the breathalyzer tester.