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Family Physician
Family Physician, Board Certified MRO
Category: Drug Testing
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Experience:  Medical Review Officer - Physician Trained and certified in drug test interpretation
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How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Urine?

Resolved Question:

How long does alcohol stay in the urine for a UA test that screens for alcohol, cocaine and marijuana (not the etg test). For example, if a person drinks on Saturday, will it show up on a UA test on Monday? She is 5'6 and 115 pounds.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Drug Testing
Expert:  Family Physician replied 3 years ago.

Alcohol is metabolized by the body at the rate of approximately 1 standard drink every hour (if you want to be safer, you can use 1 1/2 hour) If you were to drink 6 beers (12 ounce), the alcohol would be eliminated in approximately 6 - 9 hours. Urine produced AFTER this period would be negative for alcohol. (You need to remember that urine that was produced during this time would still have alcohol if you had not emptied your bladder after this time).

Essentially, except with exceptionally heavy alcohol consumption, a urine alcohol test done 12-24 hour later would be negative.

However, if the test includes the EtG testing, this can detect recent alcohol use for 26-80 hours depending on which reference you believe.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Regarding the ETG. As a physician, how long do you believe it to be accurate.... I know the range is 26 to 80 hours. But what are your thoughts. So, to clarify... if my daughter drinks tonight, she will show negative on Monday? What if it is an entire bottle of wine -- or the equivalent in hard liquor or beer?
Expert:  Family Physician replied 3 years ago.

The detection period for the EtG tests depends on a number of factors including the threshold used to define a "positive" and "negative" results, the amount of alcohol consumed, other sources of "hidden alcohol" or alcohol exposure in hand sanitizers etc.

While you will find sites/references that claim the 80+ hours, this study showed that commercially available tests were negative by 26 hours.
http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/content/42/4/317.full.pdf+html

Your daughter needs to make an important decision; What effect will a positive test have (is this possibly a violation of parole, child custody order etc) on her future. If she has some serious consequences of a positive test - she should NOT drink any alcohol period.

Family Physician, Board Certified MRO
Category: Drug Testing
Satisfied Customers: 12599
Experience: Medical Review Officer - Physician Trained and certified in drug test interpretation
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