Drug and alcohol tests have long been used to help improve roadside and workplace safety. These tests can effectively help law officials or employers identify potentially dangerous motorists or employees. Moreover, individuals under the influence of alcohol or drugs can endanger themselves and those around them. It is because drug use and alcohol consumption can cause various impairments. Individuals under the influence may struggle with vision, judgement, coordination, reaction time (slowed), behaviour, and memory. Furthermore, these impairments can drastically affect an individual’s ability to work or drive safely. Having a few of these impairments at a time can cause difficulties when trying to operate machinery or drive vehicles. With constant and more frequent roadside and workplace tests nowadays, many ask: Can you use a drug test for alcohol detection?
In most cases, yes, a drug test for alcohol detection is possible. You can easily detect alcohol through various samples. Most of these sampling methods are mainly drug tests. However, it is possible to include alcohol detection within these tests easily. Alcohol is readily available and easy to obtain; thus, alcohol tests may be needed more often than drug tests. Police officers would typically have devices ready to test for alcohol specifically. These devices are called breathalysers. Breathalysers are alcohol testing devices that use breath samples to measure your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) directly. Nowadays, it is also common for employers to use devices like the workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers New Zealand to check for alcohol use.
Drug Test for Alcohol Detection: Methods for Testing
Various drug testing options are available for those looking to use a drug test for alcohol detection. However, it is essential to note that you cannot include a breath test in this list because it is a test specifically for alcohol. You can detect alcohol with the following drug tests:
- Blood test: This is the accurate test available for drugs and alcohol. This test can determine what drug was used and the exact amount of alcohol in the blood. However, this test is also the least common in workplaces and police screenings because it is invasive. A trained sample collector and accredited laboratory are needed to execute this test. Therefore, it is the most costly and time-consuming drug test available.
- Urine Test: This test is the most common drug testing procedure done in workplaces. Police officers would also often use this test in police stations on suspected detainees. Testers can effortlessly use urine testing cups during this test. However, this test can only state “positive” or “negative” results. The downfall of urine drug tests for detecting alcohol is that they cannot determine the exact BAC.
- Saliva Test: This test uses an oral sample. This test processes a mouth swab to detect alcohol and drug usage. Like a urine test, this test only indicates a positive and negative result.
- Hair Follicle Test: This test has the most prolonged detection period among all the other tests for drugs (about 90 days).
Drug Test for Alcohol Detection: Roadside Testing Procedures
During roadside screenings, police officers would typically require drivers to perform a breath test. Using a drug test for alcohol detection during roadside screenings is not regularly done. Alcohol tests can be done more efficiently with a breathalyser. Breath tests are highly reliable because they can also provide the exact BAC level. BAC levels can determine the intoxication level of a driver. The BAC is the amount of alcohol (in grams) in every 100ml of blood. Police officers cannot use a “positive” or “negative” result to determine a driver’s toxication level. Therefore, they require breathalysers more often than urine cups. Police officers can detain a driver if their BAC level is equal to or more than 0.05% (New Zealand’s drink driving limit). Nowadays, to avoid trouble with the law, drivers often use devices like a personal breathalyser from Breathalysers New Zealand.
When performing a breath test instead of a drug test for alcohol detection, all you need is an adequate breath sample. During a breath test, all an individual must do is provide a firm blow into a breathalyser’s mouthpiece. Undoubtedly, breath tests are the least complicated and time-consuming tests available for alcohol.
Drug Test for Alcohol Detection: Workplace Testing Procedures
Using a drug test for alcohol detection is more popular during workplace testing. This is because one of the most common methods available for workplace testing is urine testing. Furthermore, a urine test is non-invasive and easy to perform. All an employer needs during a urine test is a testing cup. These cups can either change colour or have lines to indicate a positive or negative test. However, when looking to perform only alcohol tests, employers nowadays would instead prefer using a breathalyser. Highly innovative workplace breathalysers are now available for workplace use. The workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers New Zealand can drastically help employers provide frequent testing. More constant tests are possible because breath tests with a breathalyser can be quick and easy to perform.
Aside from convenience, breath tests can also be cost-effective. The employer can save money by owning and using a workplace breathalyser. Businesses would no longer need constant help from testing services to provide alcohol tests. This can help cut down a business’ annual costs. Furthermore, using a drug test for alcohol detection can be time-consuming, affecting an employee’s overall productivity.
Breath Tests: Reliability
Police officers will mainly depend on the results of a breathalyser breath test during roadside screenings to determine if a driver has a violation. Furthermore, law officials can decide a driver’s charges, violations, and penalties through their BAC levels (from a breathalyser test). Since the law itself depends on a breath test, it is safe to say that breath tests are accurate and highly reliable. When testing for alcohol alone, breath tests can drastically be better than using a drug test for alcohol detection. However, the only downfall of this test is that it cannot identify any other substance. It is common to see breath tests during:
- Roadside screenings (for accident prevention)
- Workplace alcohol testing (standard in mining, construction, and transportation industries)
- Hospital healthcare testing (to provide adequate medical prescriptions)
The Breathalysers from Breathalysers New Zealand
The breathalysers from Breathalysers New Zealand are highly reliable devices. The workplace and personal breathalysers from Breathalysers New Zealand feature fuel cell sensors. These are the same sensors you would find in a police officer’s breathalyser. Furthermore, these sensors are only sensitive to ethyl alcohol, ensuring that false-positive results are less likely to happen. Additionally, this sensitivity can also drastically help test people that have diabetes or who have a low-calorie diet. Drivers can use the personal breathalysers from Breathalysers New Zealand to monitor their intake and avoid acquiring drink driving charges. Moreover, workplace breathalysers can be an effective alternative for a drug test for alcohol detection.
Aside from accuracy, the BACtrack personal and workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers New Zealand also have some additional key features. These key features help make BACtrack breathalysers the best choice for alcohol tests. Firstly, it only takes 10 to 15 seconds for breathalysers to process BAC results. Secondly, these devices have one-button operations, allowing users to begin testing with just a push of a button. Lastly, once you turn on the device, it only takes 5 to 10 seconds to warm up. With these devices, employers would no longer need to use a drug test for alcohol detection.