There are many different ways to test for alcohol, such as by breathing into a breathalyzer or testing the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) from a blood sample, but did you know your urine can give you away as well? What's more, depending on the test used, you could fail a urine test for alcohol long after you last had a drink, even when the effects have worn off. In such cases, how do you avoid alcohol detection in urine
How does alcohol detection in urine work?
Alcohol testing isn't part of the standard SAMHSA-5 testing schedule, but it can be more likely in some situations. Given that alcohol is well known for impairing judgement and reaction times, it will often be tested for in certain safety-critical jobs. It also often features in parole drug tests and on-the-job testing.
There are two basic ways for alcohol detection in urine to work. The first method involves looking for ethanol (alcohol) directly in the urine. This typically has a short detection window of 6-24 hours, probably for as long as you are under the influence of alcohol.
It's worth pointing out here that alcohol can be in the system much longer than people realize. For example, many people indulge in a heavy night of drinking and then wake up the next morning and drive to work without realizing they are over the legal limit for BAC. If you need to drive or perform a safety-critical role the next day, it's best to not have more than a few beers, or preferably none at all.
The second form of testing looks for ethyl glucuronide (EtG), which is a direct metabolite of alcohol. This can linger in the system much longer than alcohol, say for a few days, so you can fail a test long after the effects of alcohol have worn off and even if you didn't drink that much.
What's more, you don't even need to drink to fail an EtG test. Indeed, many household products can contain traces of alcohol, and this can also elevate your EtG levels. Unfortunately, while EtG testing wouldn't stand up in a court of law, it may still be used in practice.
Avoiding alcohol detection in urine
Firstly, we would never condone avoiding detection to continue in a safety-critical job. If you're performing such a role while intoxicated, no matter how slightly, you're putting yourself and the lives of others in jeopardy. Instead, you should seek to change your drinking habits and seek help if needed.
If, however, you think EtG crosses the line by detecting alcohol use in periods far removed from working hours, you can borrow a method used by many drug consumers, both prescription and otherwise.
About two hours before your test, you should use a reputable detox drink to trigger your urinary system into cleansing itself. After waiting an hour or two, and peeing regularly in the meantime, your bladder should be flushed from metabolites like EtG. Of course, your kidneys will deposit new EtG in the urine, but it will take time to return to the original concentration. The makers of detox drinks usually recommend you take your test 1-5 hours after using the drink, with 2 hours generally being the optimal time.