How long does alcohol stay in your system (blood, urine, saliva, hair)?

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How long does alcohol stay in your system (blood, urine, saliva, hair)?

How far back can a lab test detect alcohol use?

While alcohol is not considered an illegal drug, there are still a number of reasons why a person may need to take an alcohol test.  People on probation or in treatment programs may need to prove that they have not ingested any alcohol recently.  Someone who has recently suffered an accident at work or while driving may need to prove they were not intoxicated.  Parents may wish to ensure that their underage children have not been drinking.  Alcohol can be tested in a variety of sample types including urine, blood, hair, and saliva (oral fluid).  Knowing how long the detection period is for different specimens can help a person determine which type of test will be most effective at meeting their needs. 

How long does alcohol stay in your blood?

Alcohol does not remain detectable in the blood for very long in most cases.  An alcohol blood test can typically detect alcohol for about 12 hours after use.  The detection period can vary a bit, but a blood test is usually only useful for determining if someone had consumed alcohol very recently.  Other types of blood testing can help to detect if a person has recently consumed larger quantities of alcohol.  These tests are usually used for people who are suspected of engaging in binge drinking or suffering from alcoholism.  A phosphatidylethanol (PETH) test for a biomarker than builds up the more a person drinks.  PEth testing can usually tell if someone had heavily consumed alcohol in the past 2-3 weeks.  Another option is a carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) test which can detect heavy alcohol consumption in the past 2-4 weeks.

How long does alcohol stay in your urine?

A standard ethanol urine test can usually detect alcohol for 12-48 hours after use.  The amount of time alcohol will remain detectable depends on a number of factors including how much a person has had to drink.    For someone who needs a longer detection period, an ethyl glucuronide (ETG) test looks for a specific metabolite of alcohol that can remain detectable in urine for around 3 days after consumption.

How long does alcohol stay in your saliva?

A saliva test can typically detect alcohol for 24-48 hours after use.  While saliva testing is not as common as other specimen types, they have the advantage of quick and easy to collect samples for.  A 9 panel drug and alcohol oral fluid test can detect alcohol and a variety of illicit drugs.

How long does alcohol stay in your hair?

Did you know that drug and alcohol metabolites can remain in your hair for months after use?  Most hair tests analyze about 2 inches of your most recent hair growth and have a detection period of around 90 days.  An ETG hair follicle test can tell if you have had alcohol in your system in the last 3 months.  While some labs can also test body hair, the detection period is difficult to define since its hair does not grow at a consistent rate the way hair on the head does.

Where can I get an alcohol test?

Whatever your reason for needing an alcohol level test, Request A Test is here to help.  We offer affordable alcohol testing on urine, blood, hair, and saliva.  We also have a full menu of other drug tests to meet a variety of needs.  We work with 2 of the largest labs in the US to offer thousands of convenient testing locations.  Ordering is quick and easy.  Just call us at 1-888-732-2348 or visit us online at www.requestatest.com.  If you need help picking the test that will best meet your needs our team is here to help.    

Why Choose Us?

  • Since 2002, we have a proven track record of offering excellent customer service, affordable pricing with no hidden fees, and our enduring commitment to protect your personal information.
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  • We are partnered with two of the largest CLIA certified labs in the US, to offer you the latest lab testing technology with prompt and accurate results. (These are the same labs used by hospitals and physicians.)
  • With over 3,600 lab locations to choose from and same day collection, we make lab testing quick and convenient. No appointment is needed. Find your local lab with our location finder.
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