EtG Urine Alcohol Test Unreliable

The EtG urine alcohol test is in widespread use. But the test is unreliable. That’s the warning from a federal agency (SAMSHA). The urine test is for testing compliance of people who are not to drink alcohol.


I.   Federal Warning

II.  Falsely Accused

III. EtG Innacurate

IV.  Resources

    EtG Alcohol Test

I. Federal Warning

The federal agency has issued an warning. And it’s an official one. The test is so sensitive that it can give falsely positive results. It can result from any of these things.EtG

    • Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Taking medication containing alcohol.
    • Eating food containing alcohol. For example, the test might report alcohol consumption if a person drinks orange juice that’s too old.

These are just several of the many sources of false results.

II. Falsely Accused

EtGThe Wall Street Journal wrote a damning report. The warning represents a victory for many people who flunked the EtG test. Yet they insist they drank no alcohol. Some had polygraph tests and other evidence of sobriety.

They convinced scientists to test the EtG test. “Whether the agency’s warning will help these people reclaim the jobs that some lost after flunking EtG tests is unclear. In any case, the warning is a blow to the credibility of the $4 billion-a-year urine-testing industry. It introduced the EtG test … as offering fail-safe proof of alcoholic-beverage consumption.”

III. EtG Inaccurate

The EtG urine alcohol test is inaccurate. SAMSHA warns “legal or disciplinary action based solely on a positive EtG … is inappropriate.” It says that such action is unsupportable. Instead, it recommends that a positive test result is only a starting point. A broad investigation into possible alcohol beverage consumption should begin.

This recommendation, if followed, would appear to protect both the public welfare and the rights of test-takers.

Hand sanitizers can cause also breath tests to give falsely high BACs. For more, see here.

IV. Resources