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What’s an EtG Test and Why Would You Need It?


Testing a person for the presence of alcohol is an essential step for a number of procedures of alcohol abstinence. A person’s blood alcohol levels will be high immediately and a few hours after drinking, but many programs need to know whether a person has had a drink in the days after it would have happened. 

In these instances, an EtG test may be needed. We’re going to talk about what this test is and why an individual may have to take one. Let’s get started:

What is an EtG Test?

EtG tests, short for ethyl glucuronide, are an extremely common way to check whether or not a person has had alcohol in their system within three days. While most alcohol tests can only detect alcohol consumed within the last twelve hours or so, EtG tests are more effective because ethyl glucuronide is a byproduct of alcohol.

The active intoxicating ingredient in alcohol is ethanol, which breaks down into EtG. These tests can be conducted using a number of different measures. Urine, blood, hair, and nails can all be tested for EtG.

EtG remains present in a person’s system for a while after the alcohol is consumed. In fact, very accurate tests can detect trace amounts up to five days after alcohol was consumed. 

This might be more likely if the person was drinking heavily when they imbibed. 

Why You Would Need One

EtG tests are typically taken when a person is engaged in a program that values or requires alcohol abstinence.

You may be the person required to take the test, or you might be someone who needs to test individuals for a program that you’re running. Many of these are alcohol treatment plans which allow individuals to leave and live life on their own terms. 

If you’re being tested in these programs, remember that the EtG test is an essential piece. While you may be sticking to your abstinence, many people do not and programs have to be consistent. 

Many DUI and DWI programs require individuals to take these tests regularly as well. The same goes for school programs, some professions where individuals are required to be sober, probation, and relevant court cases. 

Relevant professions are ones where any level of impairment would cause a great deal of immediate damage and loss of property. Pilots, for example, should not drink in most cases. Additionally, doctors and lawyers may also be subjected to these tests. 

False Positives

The only downfall with EtG tests is that many products that we use every day have amounts of alcohol that can be detected. Things like mouthwash, foods made with trace amounts of alcohol, and a number of grooming products contain alcohol.

These can, in some cases, lead to false positives.

Need a Test Kit?

Whether you need to test someone or want to have a kit for your own personal use, you can access one. It may be wise to get an EtG test in order to check if the products you are using show up on them. This way, you can be prepared if you’re tested by one of the programs listed above.

You can also explore our site for more information on different drug tests and how they work.


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.

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

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