Alcohol Testing in Pre-employment Drug Testing

By | January 10, 2011

Use of alcohol and drugs at work place is a very serious problem for employers. Many American corporations have been spending billions of dollars for lost productivity, accidents, and excess health care of employees. Hence drug testing in the workplace has become essential now-a-days. In order to minimize the exposure to drug and alcohol abuse, the employers have been attempting pre employment drug testing.

Certain federal regulations are laid for individuals who hold and apply for ‘safety sensitive’ positions. Pre-employment breath alcohol tests are conducted for such positions. Many bio-assay methods have been used for alcohol testing. Breath, saliva, blood, or hair samples are used by these methods for detection of alcohol in bloodstream. However, an alternative method is behavioral assessments for detection and diagnosis of alcohol-related impairment.

Pre-employment alcohol testing is conducted mostly in transportation industry. Breath analysis is the most common method used for detection of alcohol consumption in transportation and law enforcement industries. Excellent accuracy, precision, sensitivity and specificity have been observed through current generation breath-alcohol analyzers.

According to Alcohol Test Info, it is given that alcohol gets metabolized at the rate of 0.015 percent of blood-alcohol content (BAC) every hour. The legal limit for driving is found to be 0.08 percent, and around 5.3 hours is taken for the alcohol to become undetectable.

Urine tests are also conducted for alcohol testing in pre-employment drug testing. The presence of Ethyl Glucuronide is tested in urine. Consumption over the past 48 to 80 hours is revealed by this method. The least invasive methods of alcohol detection include saliva and hair tests. A short detection period of 10 to 24 hours is essential for a saliva test. However, hair tests can detect the consumption up to several months. The chemical markers left after consumption are used for indicating the usage of alcohol.