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How Reliable Are Home Alcohol Screening Tests?

Alcohol Screening

If you’ve ever watched television at all, you’ve likely seen a breathalyzer test. These are the little tests that police use to tell a person’s blood alcohol content when they’re driving on the road — the box with the tube that people blow into. 

But did you know you can buy a home alcohol test? 

At home alcohol screening is an important process for many reasons. You can use them to make sure a loved one who suffers from an addiction problem isn’t abusing alcohol, or just to test yourself before you go out driving. 

But how accurate is a home testing service? Can you trust them to read your alcohol levels and keep you safe? Can you trust them to use on a loved one who might be abusing alcohol to make sure you know how much they’ve been drinking? 

If you’ve found yourself wondering these questions, you’ve come to the right place. This article will walk you through everything you need to know about alcohol tests at home and their reliability. 

How Alcohol Tests Work

Alcohol tests work by measuring the level of alcohol one has in their body. This can be in their breath, in their blood, or in their urine. 

The above described test is the breathalyzer. It’s the most common because it gives the quickest results. However, as we explain below, there are many disadvantages to them. 

Tests that analyze the blood level are more useful for job drug tests, because they provide the more accurate reading. However, it’s a more complicated and long process to test blood levels. 

The levels of blood alcohol content are analyzed like this:

  • If someone shows a 0.0, they’re considered sober
  • If someone shows a 0.5 or higher they’re considered impaired
  • If someone shows a .08, they’re intoxicated
  • if they show a .08 to a .40, they’re very impaired
  • anything over that someone is at risk for bodily damage

Though as we’ll state later, some people have different levels of tolerance from others. Smaller folks might be very intoxicated at just a .03. 

Disadvantages of an At Home Breathalyzer 

An at home testing device is a machine like any other. It comes with delicate parts, and can easily break if you drop it. Since we’re talking about alcohol consumption here, the chance of dropping an at-home test is high. 

Unfortunately, this can lead to the machine operating ineffectively and giving the wrong reading. You might not even realize that the reading was wrong. 

There’s also the case of user-error. Sure, if the device is used by a sober person to tell if someone else is intoxicated, it’s pretty reliable. But if it’s used by a person who is intoxicated to see if they’re good to drive, you might run into some problems.

Alcohol famously impairs judgment. If you’re using it while drunk, you might see that you’re over the limit but decide to drive anyway. 

This is why we recommend pairing an at-home test with other precautions. Make sure you research and know your limits so you don’t get too intoxicated in situations where you might have to drive. Always make sure you have a designated driver, and a responsible friend who knows when you’re drinking too much. 

Plan your route home in advance. If you have to take a train or a bus, know exactly which train or a bus you’re going to take and who’s going to go with you. 

Keep in mind that an at-home drug test also doesn’t consider lung size and body weight. The breathalyzer test measures the concentration of alcohol in one’s breath, so differences in lung capacity can influence the tests reading. Body weight also affects how different people experience the effects of alcohol.  

Should You Use a Urine Test?

More than 20 million people in the US have a problem with drug abuse. You’re not alone if you have a loved one who’s suffering from an addiction problem. However, for their own good, you’re going to need to make sure you regulate their drug use. 

If you need to check their alcohol levels in an accurate way, we recommend making use of a urine test. Sure the results might take longer, but they’re a lot more efficient than breathalyzer tests. 

At the end of the day, the breathalyzer can get extremely thrown off by the amount of alcohol that one has in their mouth. While it’s good at determining if someone is currently intoxicated, it’s not as good at telling if someone has drank recently. 

When you’re dealing with a loved one who has an addiction, sometimes it’s more important if they’ve drank in the past 10 hours. They might be good at hiding their current intoxication. Setting up a routine where they’re regularly tested for their recent alcohol usage can set them up for a new lifestyle where they drink less. 

Get a great alcohol home test product today and help your loved one get the help they need.

The Reliability of an Alcohol Screening 

A great alcohol screen test at home can save lives. It can help you catch relapses in a loved one’s alcohol usage, can help you understand how much you drink yourself, and can help you realize when you should or shouldn’t drink. 

At the end of the day, however, any drug test out there is just a tool. Use your better judgment and the judgment of your friends to make sure you don’t get in any trouble. 

For more information on any sort of home test, contact us today. 

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.