With alcohol being a relatively large part of society and social functions,
Shortly after consuming alcoholic beverages alcohol will begin to enter your bloodstream as well as for made in other parts of your body. Alcohol needs to be properly metabolized and only 20% of the alcohol that you consume is actually expelled through your urine, sweat or breath. It is the metabolizing process that actually takes the most amount of time and that insurers that alcohol can sometimes be detected in your urine for 80 hours after you have had your last drink.
You may consider yourself to be fine to drive even after one drink, but depending on the type of drink that you had as well as several other conditions it’s possible that you could be at fault for an accident or potentially endanger the lives of others by driving after one drink or a very moderate amount of alcohol. If you feel inhibited by alcohol at all, you should not drive.
If you’ve consumed alcohol in the past 24 hours it’s extremely important that you know how long it takes alcohol to clear your system. Knowing how long alcohol stays in your urine as well as in your bloodstream could help you to avoid a serious conviction if you have been involved in a criminal case or if you need to be tested by an employer/probation officer.
There are many factors that go into the process of analyzing alcohol metabolism. Everyone will process alcohol differently than another person and some of the main factors can include the type of drink that you are consuming, how much alcohol you’ve had, the food that was in your system as you were drinking alcohol, your age, your genetics, your gender, how healthy you are with metabolism and more.
Through urinalysis and a chemical test it’s possible to examine a urine sample and detect metabolites that are produced in urine as a result of metabolizing alcoholic beverages. In most cases for criminal case urine testing takes place within a 24-hour period which can almost certainly detect the presence of alcohol in someone’s urine. For later tests, the most advanced urinalysis today can detect urine in some cases up to 80 hours after a person has consumed alcohol.
If you have ever wondered what happens after you start to drink alcohol and how your body is affected the processes below will start to explain how your body metabolizes alcohol and how the metabolites can be found in urinalysis:
As soon as you consume alcohol around 5% of what you are consuming will reach to the kidneys. Kidneys can then begin to secrete ethanol in the urine which is one of the earliest detectable signs alcohol was consumed. Vasopressin will also be triggered and this is a hormone that can change the secretion of all of your bodily fluids. With this hormone inhibited this will speed up your urination process and this generally means that with heavy drinking you may feel the urge to urinate every 20 to 25 min..
When the alcohol is processed through the small intestine and it reaches the bloodstream you’ll start to feel the effects of intoxication. As you continue to drink this can maximize your blood-alcohol level over time. Your liver can only process so much alcohol at a time and generally if you consume one drink per hour, your liver will only be able to process around half of the alcohol in the standard size drink. This is also assuming that your liver is not impeded in any way by medication, sickness or a previous condition.
There are several factors that can change the total amount of alcohol that can be discovered in your urine. Some of the main factors can include:
Testing takes place in many rehabilitation programs because abstinence in these programs is required for continuation.
Alcohol testing is also considered as part of some probation plans to prevent alcohol abuse reoccurrence.
Several companies impose drug testing but also check into alcohol in the urine for employees that are suspected of alcoholism in the workplace. The alcohol level in the urine should be within normal limits during workplace testing.
Blood-alcohol concentration is not something that’s detectable via a urine test. In many cases blood testing is completed for legal reasons what a person is under the influence of alcohol. Measuring blood and alcohol concentration can help to see if a person is legally impaired for a court case or conviction or for safety reasons.
In the most basic of terms blood-alcohol concentration ranges from .0 – .45. A person who is tested at .45 often has taken a lethal dose of alcohol.
Urine testing isn’t particularly useful for determining if there is alcohol in someone’s system immediately. Even a simple ethanol urine test can take at least an hour or two to process. In many cases today, urine tests that take place are EtG tests which measure metabolites in urine that occur after processing alcohol in the body. These tests can reveal the presence of alcohol for up to 80 hours after a person has had a drink.
Ethanol is found in the body activated by some types of bacteria. This means that a urine test can sometimes contain ethanol even if the person has never had a drink in their life. The amount of ethanol that is discovered in urine is always less than the percentage found in blood as well and this makes determining BAC from a urine test impossible.
There are some ways that a ethanol urine test can be skewed as well, if a person suffers from diabetes they are bound to have more ethanol present in their urine, several other medical conditions can also produce the same results. If it urine sample is also left at room temperature for an extended amount of time, more ethanol can be produced by microorganisms illuminating the glucose in the urine sample. Usually with ethanol testing several samples are taken at 30 min. intervals to ensure greater accuracy.
Road to drug and alcohol recovery is easy if you follow our extensive addiction recovery guide.