Urine tests are less accurate than breath and blood tests, and tend to be used only when other tests are not available. Ethyl Alcohol Test is also known as a UA, urine ethanol test or urine alcohol test. The detection time is 1 – 12 hours. There are several concerns with using urine alcohol for workplace testing and in evaluating whether a person is impaired by alcohol or has consumed beverage alcohol, including the following:
A positive urine alcohol test is not indicative of alcohol impairment nor does it definitively indicate beverage alcohol consumption.
If an individual is a diabetic and has a yeast or bacterial infection, fermentation can take place. Fermentation is the process of the yeast/bacteria consuming glucose resulting in the production of alcohol. It is possible that the glucose may no longer be detectable as the yeast/bacteria may have already consumed all the glucose.
Individuals spilling sugar into the urine for whatever reason can also cause fermentation if yeast or bacteria are present and if the transit time is prolonged. The longer the specimen is in transit the chances of fermentation occurring are greater.
Urine testing for alcohol is not covered under current laboratory certification standards and testing protocols. It is currently the least effective method in determining the amount of alcohol in the body. The blood to urine ratio has a wide range and can be affected by many factors, therefore, it is difficult to equate a urine test result for alcohol to a particular blood or breath alcohol level.