Certain jobs may require you to get a drug and an alcohol screening test. However, it is common that a job may only want testing for one, and not both of these. Another use for this type of testing is for monitoring someone who is undergoing alcohol abuse treatment. It can also be used to determine if someone is legally drunk. There are several different types of tests that can be preformed and then analyzed at a laboratory. These tests can include checking blood alcohol levels, breathalyzer test results, and urine drug screens.

Alcohol Screening Test: Things to Know

Blood Test

One type of alcohol screening test is a blood test. This would require that the person have their blood drawn. Typically, this test requires consent. A healthcare professional will draw blood from the patient’s vein. This will require the use of a small needle. It may sting a little bit, but will be only within a few minutes.

They will analyze the blood for its alcohol concentration. It usually takes around 24 hours for these results to come back. When checking alcohol levels, this test is going to be more accurate than what a breathalyzer will show. A blood alcohol concentration greater that 0.08 percent indicates the person is legally intoxicated.


Another type of alcohol screening test is a breathalyzer test. Breath tests are the most common method to estimate someone’s blood alcohol content. This method gives very fast results, however, these are not as accurate as a blood draw test. The entire test may only take a minute. There are some environmental factors that can cause the test to have inaccurate results. The breath test is a recommended method for alcohol testing at work.

Urine Test

The third alcohol screening test is a urine test. This is the least accurate of all of the testing discussed so far. However, it can detect traces alcohol in the body far longer than a breathalyzer test can. For example, ehe average urine test can detect alcohol between 12 and 80 hours after someone has their last drink. More advanced testing can measure alcohol in the urine 80 hours after you drink. The most common test is the EtG test. On the other hand, breathalyzers can only detect alcohol for up to 24 hours.

For this type of test, the person will need to provide a urine sample while on site. Then, a healthcare provider will test the urine using a test strip to determine the level of EtG in the sample.

As you can see, there are several different types of tests available for checking alcohol levels inside the body. They all range in accuracy and time to receive results. There are different indications for these, including workplace tests, treatment checkups, and for potential alcohol-related violations.