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Types of Alcohol Tests
ETG Alcohol Urine Testing
For decades, simple urine tests and breathalyzers were used to detect if one has consumed alcohol recently, but no method was able to answer if one has consumed alcohol in the past 3 to 4 days. This is because alcohol dissipates itself from the system in a matter of hours.
Labs have come up with a new protocol, which is being tagged as the gold standard of alcohol testing for it can tell if someone has consumed alcohol up to 80 hours prior. This latest method works on the concept of Alcohol Biomarkers.
The Alcohol EtG Urine Test is a biomarker test that detects the presence of ethyl glucuronide in the urine samples. Actually, alcohol, when metabolized by the liver, forms ethyl glucuronic acid i.e. when someone consumes alcohol, in the liver, a compound called glucuronic acid reacts with it and forms Ethyl glucuronide as a metabolite. Alcohol dissipates within few hours but EtG particles remains in the system for as long as 80 hours.
This amazing sensitivity makes this method most suitable to be applied in a diverse array of situations to find illegal, long-term alcohol consumption.
This test is also conducted in the corporate world to profile the alcohol habits, and use of illicit drugs by their prospective employees.
This test can greatly facilitate alcohol detection in those individuals who are legally prohibited from consuming alcohol, either by the law or by their employer.
EtG Urine Testing Benefits:
Detect recent usage more accurately and for a longer time period compared with standard testing
Great for abstinence and zero tolerance circumstances, such as monitoring in alcohol treatment programs
Provide an accurate and reliable indication of alcohol ingestion within the previous 3 to 4 days
EtG is only detectable when alcohol is ingested and is not produced as a result of alcohol fermentation (medical conditions such as diabetes)
EtG test function as an early warning system that can identify relapse patterns
EtG tests can be accurate and reliable when performed by LC/MS/MS on state of the art equipment
EtG tests can also be run on urine specimens in conjunction with other drug testing methods.
Adult PEth Testing
Dried Blood Spots
Dried blood spot collection is the fastest, most convenient way to test for phosphatidylethanol (PEth)Phosphatidylethanol (PEth)PEth is created in red blood cells where it exists as part of the cell membrane. Research suggests a PEth test can differentiate between incidental exposure (hand sanitizer use, etc.) and the intentional use of ethanol. A PEth test in blood gives up to approximately 2-4 week history of alcohol (ab)use. We offer PEth testing in both dried blood spots and whole blood. The specimen amount is 5 dried blood spots from a finger puncture or 5 ml of blood from a standard blood draw using anticoagulation tube collection.. Standard collection supplies provided include 2 lancets, 2 non-ethanol based alcohol pads, gauze, a collection card, and the dried blood spot drying box. We also provide the requisition form for the collection, which includes all necessary bar code stickers to maintain a proper chain-of-custody. Unlike venipuncture, dried blood spot collection is performed by the individual being tested (the donor) and can be observed by any staff member, after a short training session. The dried blood spot drying box makes collection even easier by eliminating wait time. PEth is an abnormal phospholipid formed in red blood cells following alcohol exposure. PEth in blood exists as a component of the red cell membrane. PEth is a mid to long-term alcohol biomarker, and a positive result (measuring phosphatidylethanol species 16:0/18:1) is an indication of alcohol exposure during the ~2-4 weeks prior to specimen collection.
Saliva (Alcohol) Swab Testing
Saliva alcohol tests detect the presence of alcohol in the saliva, and are a relatively good approximation of blood alcohol content (BAC).
Due to the fact that the concentration of alcohol in saliva is very likely to be similar to the BAC that is in the blood, saliva is a preferred alcohol testing method.
Alcohol (saliva) swabs go back up to 8-12 hours.
On DOT testing, the testing process must begin without undue delay. You must not wait because the client says he or she is not ready or is unable to urinate, or because an authorized employer or employee representative is delayed in arriving.
If the client is also going to take a DOT alcohol test, you must ensure that the alcohol test is completed before the urine collection process begins.
A valid state or federal photo ID is required (e.g., a driver's license or passport). Faxes or photocopies of identification cannot be accepted. Positive identification by an employer representative (not a co-worker or another employee being testing) is also acceptable.
You (the client) will be asked to remove out clothing (e.g., coveralls, jacket, coat, hat) that could be used to conceal items or substances that could be used to tamper with a specimen. You must leave these garments, and any briefcase, purse, or other personal belongings outside of the restroom in a mutually agreeable location. Failure to comply with directions constitutes a refusal.
You (the client) must empty his or her pockets completely. Personal items can be placed in a lock box.
Clients are not to list medications that he or she is currently taking on the CCF. (The client may make notes of medications on the back of their (employee) copy of the form for his or her own convenience, but these notes must not be transmitted to anyone else.)
The specimen must contain at least 45 mL of urine. If it does not, the specimen must be discarded, unless another problem (i.e., temperature out of range, signs of tampering) also exists.
Combining urine collected from separate voids is never permitted. Excess urine must be discarded.
The temperature of the specimen must be checked, no later than four minutes after the employee has given you the specimen.
The acceptable temperature range is 32-38 degrees C / 90-100 degrees F.
If the specimen temperature is outside the acceptable range, you must immediately conduct a new collection using direct observation procedures.
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BAC (Breath Alcohol Content) Breathalyzer Testing
Always make sure to wait at least 15-20 minutes after having anything in your mouth, before submitting to a breathalyzer. For example: mints, chewing gum, cigarettes, mouthwash, soda, water, etc... If this is not done, the results could be inaccurate.
When you drink alcohol, the amount of alcohol in your blood goes up. This is called your blood-alcohol content/level.
When the amount of alcohol in the blood reaches 0.02 - 0.03%, you may feel a relaxing "high".
When that percentage reaches 0.05 - 0.10%, you have reduced muscular coordination, a longer reaction time, and impaired judgement.
Driving and operating machinery under the influence of alcohol is dangerous. A person with an alcohol content/level of 0.08% and above is considered legally intoxicated (drunk) in most states (some states have lower levels than others).
In the United States, it is illegal for anyone to operate a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, as studies indicate this amount of alcohol can substantially reduce a person's ability to drive safely. As a result, breathalyzers are designed to calculate a suspected BAC.
Breath testing devices work by estimating a person's BAC based on the amount of alcohol found in his or her breath. In order to do this, the person must blow into a small tube located on the breathalyzer. If the device detects the presence of alcohol, it uses a set ratio to calculate the test subject's BAC. The alcohol content of exhaled air accurately reflect the alcohol content of the blood.
There are a number of variables that can affect a person's BAC reading, for example, breathalyzers assume the amount of alcohol found in a person's mouth is representative of the amount of alcohol in his or her bloodstream. This means that the test can easily pick up traces of alcohol from other substances, such as breath mints, cough syrup, chewing gum, or other products that contain a small amount of alcohol. In such cases, the BAC will be falsely inflated due to the presence of alcohol in the mouth. That is why it is important to wait the required amount of time before submitting to the breathalyzer.