Call Today 615-332-8838
Call Today615-332-8838

Does Alcohol Show up on a Drug Test for Work, and How to Test Employees?

does alcohol show up on a drug test for work

How confident are you that your employees represent the clean, sober image your brand stands for? The stakes are high in ensuring a drug-free workplace, but there’s a common curveball: does alcohol show up on a drug test for work? The truth is, while you focus on cultivating a productive and safe environment, alcohol can be the silent disruptor lurking in the shadows.

Understanding the role of alcohol testing is not just about compliance. It’s about protecting your team’s integrity and your company’s reputation. Stay with us as we unveil how alcohol detection plays a crucial role in maintaining workplace standards and why it should matter to you.

Does Alcohol Show up on a Drug Test for Work?

When people drink alcohol, their bodies go through a complex process to break it down and remove it. This process begins in the stomach and liver, where alcohol is metabolized into various substances that the body can more easily handle.

One of these substances is called ethanol, the active ingredient in alcoholic beverages that affects the brain and causes the feeling of being drunk.

As the body works to metabolize alcohol, ethanol and its byproducts enter the bloodstream, making their presence known throughout the body. This is where the science of alcohol testing comes in. Because these substances circulate in the blood, they can be detected in breath, urine, and even hair.

Breath tests, for example, can measure the concentration of alcohol in the air a person exhales to give a quick estimate of their blood alcohol content. Urine tests look for ethanol and its byproducts, which are excreted as the body processes alcohol.

Even after the noticeable effects of drinking have worn off, these byproducts can remain, marking the recent consumption of alcohol.

Types of Alcohol Tests for the Workplace

Each of these tests plays a crucial role in ensuring workplace safety and supporting policies against substance abuse. By choosing the right test for the situation, employers can maintain a healthy, productive, and safe working environment for everyone.

Breath Alcohol Testing

Breath alcohol tests are a go-to method for checking if employees are sober at work. These tests use a device called a breathalyzer, which measures the amount of alcohol in someone’s breath.

This reading is a quick way to see if someone has been drinking. It’s effective and non-invasive which makes it a good choice for on-the-spot testing. Employers often use it to ensure employees are sober, especially in jobs where safety is crucial.

Urine Alcohol Testing

Urine tests are another common way to check for alcohol use. These tests can detect alcohol consumption up to 48 hours after drinking. They look for ethanol or its byproducts in the urine.

This method is widely used in workplace drug testing programs to monitor for substance abuse.

Blood Alcohol Test

Blood tests are the most accurate way to measure alcohol levels in the body. A small blood sample is all that’s needed to check if someone has consumed alcohol.

This method is precise but more invasive than breath or urine tests. It’s often used in serious situations, like when an employee is involved in a workplace accident.

The accuracy of blood tests makes them a valuable tool in investigating incidents and enforcing workplace safety policies.

EtG Test (Hair and Urine)

The EtG test is a newer method that can detect alcohol use long after the alcohol has left the system. EtG, or ethyl glucuronide, is a byproduct of alcohol that can be found in urine and hair.

In urine, it can show alcohol use up to 80 hours after drinking. Hair tests can trace consumption back as far as 90 days. This makes EtG tests ideal for monitoring employees over a longer period.

They are especially useful in cases where ongoing sobriety is required for the job.

Implementing Alcohol Testing in Your Workplace

Implementing alcohol testing in the workplace is a step towards ensuring the safety and productivity of your team. It’s about making sure that your employees are sober and ready to tackle their responsibilities.

Incorporate into Company Policies

To start, integrate alcohol testing as a part of your existing drug testing policies. This means setting clear guidelines about when and how tests will be conducted, such as during pre-employment screening, random testing, or following an accident at work.

Set Clear Guidelines and Expectations

Clarity in your policies is key. Everyone should understand that the goal is to maintain a safe work environment, not to invade personal privacy.

Start with outlining:

  • The procedures for testing
  • The consequences of testing positive for alcohol
  • The support available for those who might struggle with substance abuse

This way, employees know what to expect and understand the importance of coming to work sober.

Legal Considerations

Legal compliance is also crucial. Different states have various laws regarding workplace testing, so it’s important to ensure that your policy aligns with these regulations. This protects your company from potential legal issues and reinforces the credibility of your testing program.

Respecting Employee Privacy and Promoting Trust

Finally, respecting employee privacy is paramount. When individuals consume alcohol off the clock, it’s their personal choice. Your testing program should focus on ensuring sober employees during work hours without overstepping into their private lives.

Transparent communication about why you’re implementing these tests can help maintain trust between management and staff. Namely, to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being at work.

Your Partner in Workplace Sobriety

Does alcohol show up on a drug test for work? The answer, as we’ve explored, is a definitive yes. With the right testing methods, from advanced urine tests to sophisticated EtG checks, detecting alcohol use among employees is both practical and necessary for fostering a safe and productive workplace.

ReliaLab Test stands at the forefront of this mission by offering comprehensive alcohol and drug testing services that cater to businesses striving for excellence. Our commitment to reliability and swift result turnaround distinguishes us in the quest for a drug-free workplace. Contact us today and take a decisive step towards a healthier, more focused team.

Order a Test

Whether you are an individual looking to get a drug test done today or an employer looking to get a pre-employment drug test done today, ordering a test online is easier than ever! Just submit your order online, receive your test authorization by email, go to your local clinic to be tested, and receive your test results in 24 to 48 hours.

Hours of Operation

Monday 8AM–12PM, 1–4:30PM
Tuesday 8AM–12PM, 1–4:30PM
Wednesday 8AM–12PM, 1–4:30PM
Thursday 8AM–12PM, 1–4:30PM
Friday 8AM–12:30PM, 1–3PM
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Closed Dec. 25, Dec. 26 and Jan. 1

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our lab.