Americans drink like there’s no tomorrow. According to a survey conducted by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in 2014, a whopping 87.6% of Americans over the age of 17 had drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime; 24.7% of adults reported binge drinking during the past month while 6.7% had engaged in heavy drinking during the previous month. Moreover, alcohol is by far the most commonly used addictive substance in the States, with approximately one in every 12 adults abuses or is addicted to alcohol.
Common alcohol testing methods:
- Blood tests – can detect alcohol use within the past 24 hours. This is conducted in a laboratory by qualified professionals
- Saliva tests – can detect the presence of alcohol in the saliva within approximately 10 to 24 hours
- Breath alcohol tests measure the amount of alcohol via a breathalyzer device
Below we’ll review the tests which are considered to be the best by our trained, paid staff from each category (blood, saliva, digital, etc.). And in the next section you’ll find all necessary information about the alcohol testing.
What are reliable alcohol testing kit brands?
Reliable alcohol testing kits include:
- DrugConfirm Advanced EtG alcohol test
- EtG Alcohol Urine Test Dip Card
- QED A150 Saliva Alcohol Test
- SalivaConfirm Premium
- BACTrack Mobile Digital Alcohol Detector
- AlcoHAWK Precision Digital Alcohol Detector
The Best Alcohol Testing Kits Reviewed
A blood test for alcohol has to be carried out in a sophisticated facility, by a qualified professional; all the other tests can be administered anywhere by anyone who has access to a testing kit. Here are some of the best kits for performing saliva, breath, and urine test:
Alcohol Urine Test Kits
12-Panel Instant Urine Drug Test Cup with EtG Detection
Price: $9.99 per unit (discount available on multiple units)
The DrugConfirm Advanced is the only cup that works for EtG and can detect alcohol usage up to 80 hours before the test. Being a 12-panel test, it can test eleven other classes of drugs in addition to alcohol. These drugs include Amphetamine, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Buprenorphine, Cocaine, Methadone, Methamphetamine, Ecstasy/Molly, Opiates, Oxycodone, and Marijuana.
What are the advantages of EtG testing?
- Accurate results
- Longer detection window than standard testing
- No false positive in cases of fermentation
- Works on urine specimens to detect other drugs aside from alcohol
- Ideal for “zero tolerance” testing scenarios
The best thing about the DrugConfirm Advanced EtG alcohol test is that it’s a fully integrated test and offers professional quality, extremely accurate results in a matter of a few minutes, and anyone with a little common sense can perform it without much knowledge or experience.
EtG Alcohol Urine Test Dip Card (w/80 Hour Detection Window)
Price: $8.15 per unit (discount available on multiple units)
With a detection window of up to 80 hours, the EtG Alcohol Urine Test Dip Card kit offers laboratory-level accuracy in no time. The test is extremely easy to administer and yet the results are as good as you would get from a lab.
The EtG Alcohol Test Dip Card is ideal for probation or police offices to test the people who are ordered by the justice system to abstain from alcohol, abuse treatment facilities, and organizations/workplaces with alcohol-free environment policy.
Saliva Alcohol Testing Kits
QED A150 Saliva Alcohol Test
Price: $6.45 per unit (discount available on multiple units)
QED A150 Saliva Alcohol test is one of the very best kits to test alcohol use and has also been approved by DOT as well as FDA. The test is extremely easy to use and the results are available in just two minutes. The best thing about QED is that it’s one of the very few tests to offer quantitative results, just like a blood test, and yet is extremely affordable and easy to perform. To administer the test, you have to insert the swab into the mouth to collect saliva, and then pressing the saliva-enriched swab into the red center, which is included in the kit. It looks and works pretty much like a thermometer, and indicates an accurate level of alcohol in the body.
SalivaConfirm Premium – 7 Panel Instant Oral Cube Drug + Alcohol Test Kit
Price: $12.95 per unit (discount available on multiple units)
SalivaConfirm is an instant test, ideal for use by law enforcement agencies, the test can detect alcohol as well as six other drugs: Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Opiates, Marijuana, and Phencyclidine. The test can be administered instantly, anywhere and the results are available in just three minutes. Since saliva test is very hard to beat and the kit is perfectly designed, you can expect to get extremely accurate results. The donor has to keep the sponge in their mouth for three minutes, and then it should be placed right away into the collection cube. The results can read immediately after you insert the sponge into the cube, just make sure to keep the cube in an upright position while reading the results.
Digital Alcohol Breathalyzers
BACTrack Mobile Digital Alcohol Detector – iOS/Android Compatible
Price: $149.99 per unit (discount available on multiple units)
This particular breathalyzer is based on cutting-edge technology to offer added convenience and extremely accurate results. It’s a cool gadget that can be connected to your smartphone (compatible with both iOS and Android devices) via Bluetooth. What’s more, it has the industry-best Xtend Fuel Cell Sensor, that’s used in all the professional breathalyzers used by law enforcement as well as hospitals.
You will have to download the free BACTrack app on your phone from the app store, pair your phone with the BACTrack breathalyzer, and then the donor can blow into the device. The device will instantly send the readings to your mobile device, where your quantified BAC level will pop up. What we really loved about this breathalyzer is that it not only detects alcohol in your breath but also shows the dose-specific side effects or impairment level depending on the BAC. Moreover, it also estimates how badly the alcohol might be affecting your ability to drive and how long it will take for the blood level to return to normal.
Moreover, the app stores the data about different indicators and can give the donor a clear picture of their drinking habits in the form of a graphical representation. Let’s not forget that BACTrack with the first company to be approved by FDA for selling personal breathalyzers.
AlcoHAWK Precision Digital Alcohol Detector
Price: $89.99 per unit (discount available on multiple units)
It’s yet another DOT approved and FDA cleared breath screening gadget that comes with the latest sensitive semiconductor oxide sensor to offer accurate readings in a matter of seconds. This particular breathalyzer is an elegant gadget that has a 4-digit LED display and comes with five replaceable mouthpiece covers. It’s one-button, user-friendly operation and accurate, instant digital reading have helped it become one of the bestselling breathalyzers on the market. The donor has to blow into the gadget for five seconds and the device will take another three seconds to display the results. The battery included can allow you to do about 300 tests and the technology used ensures extremely accurate results.
No matter you want to implement alcohol testing in your organization or want to keep track of your drinking habits, you’ll definitely find a kit or breathalyzer that suits your needs. To get accurate results, just make sure to read all the instructions before using any kit.
What is an Alcohol Test?
EtG testing has recently emerged as the most desired form of alcohol testing. EtG stands for Ethyl Glucuronide or simply ethanol, which is the intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine, and liquor. EtG is produced when yeast, starches, and sugars, are fermented, and upon entering your body, can severely impact your decision making, depending on the amount you take, the time since you last drank, and your body weight. EtG is a urine testing process that tries to detect the presence of ethanol, which is a definitive indicator that body has metabolized alcohol within the past three or four days. So, in case you were wondering how long can alcohol be detected in urine, the answer is: up to 80 hours EtG testing is used.
EtG is administered to detect whether a person is consuming alcohol or not by using an immunoassay screen with Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC/MS) confirmation of any positives that might be a sign of alcohol use. Most labs will do a confirmatory testing in conjunction with EtG testing to eliminate the possibility of a fake positive. Although it’s becoming quickly popular because of the longer detection window and accuracy, EtG doesn’t show the exact amount of alcohol consumed.
Alcohol Testing F.A.Q.
EtG has emerged as the test of choice for alcohol because of several benefits it offers over other options
- It’s more accurate than standard testing.
- Has a considerably longer detection window than standard testing i.e. can detect alcohol use up to 80 hours. In other words, it can detect ethanol even after other tests will fail to do so.
- The biggest benefit of EtG testing is that it doesn’t give false positive in case of fermentation, and only gives positive when alcohol is consumed.
- It can be used on a urine specimen to test abuse of other drugs in addition to alcohol.
- It is ideal in scenarios of zero tolerance, such as when ordered by the justice system.
When Alcohol Testing is Required
Alcohol testing can be required where someone is suspected of having consumed alcohol under circumstances where the use is prohibited. The most common scenario of testing is when drivers are asked to immediately be tested after a police officer believes there is reasonable suspicion. Pre-employment testing is also very common at workplaces that ensure drug-free environment. Also, employees, who returned to duty after a vacation, can be tested. Post-accident testing is done to find out whether any of the drivers involved in the crash was driving under the influence.
Other Types of Alcohol Testing
In addition to EtG, several other testing methods are also available to find out whether a person has used alcohol or not.
Blood Test for Alcohol
A blood test can detect alcohol use within the past 24 hours. The best thing about a blood test is that it can also measure the amount of ethanol in the system. Just like nicotine, alcohol is also absorbed by your bloodstream instantly. Although it reaches the highest level after one hour of drinking, it is detectable within minutes. The blood test for alcohol is performed by qualified health professional, in a laboratory, with special equipment.
Saliva Test for Alcohol
Saliva drug test is very easy to administer and less invasive than urine or hair test. Moreover, saliva test can detect both the drug and its metabolites. Collecting saliva is very easy, a cotton swab is usually placed inside the cheek, which can be used to detect the concentration of alcohol in saliva – which is almost the same as BAC in the blood. Because alcohol and its metabolites don’t stay in your saliva for too long, or as long as they do in your blood or urine, saliva has a short detection window, however, it offers more possibilities in detecting recent use. Alcohol can be detected in your saliva for approximately 10 to 24 hours.
Breath Alcohol Test
A breath alcohol test detects the level of alcohol in your blood by determining the amount of alcohol in your breath. The device used for estimating blood alcohol content is known as a breathalyzer. Although it’s also the name of a brand, the term is generically used to refer to any device for estimating BAC through your breath.
The donor blows directly into the breath analyzer, which instead of measuring BAC in your blood, estimates BAC indirectly by measuring the amount of alcohol in the breath. Remember, 90% of alcohol is broken down by your liver, while the rest is blown out through your breath or secreted with urine.