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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 it take for alcohol to not show up in a U/A

Resolved Question:

How long does it take for alcohol to not show up in a U/A? I think it something to do with enzynes
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Drug Testing
Expert:  Family Physician replied 3 years ago.
Alcohol is metabolized at the rate of approximately 1 drink (1 beer, 1 shot or 1 glass of wine) per hour. Even if you use a more conservative time of 1 1/2 hour per drink, the detection period for alcohol would not be 24 hours unless you had a VERY large amount of alcohol. If you drank 6 beers - the alcohol would be negative within 9 hours. For 12 beers - you would be negative by 18 hours at most.

Another test; EtG identifies a biomarker for recent alcohol use (not the alcohol itself). While many sites suggest detection up to 80 hours, this long of a detection period is unlikely except with very heavy use.

A recent study looked at the sensitivity of commercially available EtG testing (again using the lowest sensitivity) and found that all specimens were negative within 26 hours.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17376784

I believe that there are several reasons for so many sites referencing the "80 hour" range including labs trying to convince those ordering the test that they are more effective than science might suggest, and those web sites that are promoting useless products that claim to "beat" drug tests can convince customers that their product actually helped them pass the test.
Family Physician, Board Certified MRO
Category: Drug Testing
Satisfied Customers: 12613
Experience: Medical Review Officer - Physician Trained and certified in drug test interpretation
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