Urinalysis (“UA”) is one of the most efficient ways of detecting relapse or use of substances. A UA can be performed inside a personal home or office. UA’s are conducted by probation and parole officers, sober living home managers, and addiction treatment facilities of varying levels.

alcohol in system

Physical, chemical, and microscopic aspects of urine is analyzed in each UA test. There are tests which can be administered at home for basic results. Others can be sent out to laboratories for deeper investigation and analysis.

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in the System?

Alcohol can last up to four days in the bloodstream, when metabolized fully. At the time of UA administration, if alcohol has been consumed within the last four days, it will likely be detected. Alcohol is present in the bloodstream in as little as 48 hours.

Most UA results do not test directly for the presence of “alcohol”. Instead, a UA analysis will search for “ETG”. ETG stands for Ethyl Glucuronide which is an indicator of whether alcohol has been metabolized. Meaning, that if alcohol has been consumed and processed by the body, an ETG analysis will notice it. ETG analysis can detect the presence of alcohol up to 80 hours.

Previously, testing for ethanol and other alcohol chemicals in the bloodstream were common practice. However, the ETG test is practically fail proof. Since it tests for alcohol that has been metabolized within the last 80 hours there is little debating it’s accuracy. Alcohol metabolizes at 0.15 of BAC, blood alcohol content, every hour. For example, a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more, which constitutes being legally unfit to drive, will require 5.5 hours for processing.

Effects on Alcohol in the Bloodstream

Determining how long alcohol will truly remain present for detection in the bloodstream is a conditional attempt.

  • How much alcohol is consumed
  • Weight
  • Body size
  • Metabolism
  • Any food in the stomach to “soak up” the alcohol
  • Dehydration
  • Illness
  • Psychological and/or physical stress

Aurora Recovery Center located on Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada offers premiere resort-like recovery for men and women seeking treatment. Our program is offered for treating addiction, alcoholism, and dual-diagnosis issues. If you are concerned your drinking is out of control and you need help, call Aurora today. 1844-515-STOP.


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