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I had to provide a urine sample at work due to suspected alcohol

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I had to provide a urine sample at work due to suspected alcohol consumption. I probably smelled like alcohol because I attended a bachelor party the night before and did consume a great deal of alcohol. About 12 hours passed between drinking and the test -- I was not at all impaired. The sample was mailed to a lab and I was told they performed the EtG test. I was told the test revealed I had a .09 BAC. So the question, can the EtG test produce reliable BAC? -- the test did not take place for 3 days, and I don't believe the sample was refrigerated.

I'd be glad to pay you for your opinion, thanks.

Hello Patrick,

My name isXXXXX a licensed attorney and registered nurse. I have clinical and litigation experience concerning such matters.

I am honestly sorry for your circumstances, very much appreciate your patronage, and am glad to try and help out.

Accordingly, I'm pleased to share some good news with you. First of all, you're right to be concerned and questioning the result of the EtG (Ethyl Glucuronide) testing, especially under the circumstances you're described. In fact, an unrefrigerated sample can actually ferment and yield an unreliable result. But, you don't have to take my word for it, and neither does your employer. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has formally gone on record disapproving the test out of similar and related concerns (numerous ones). To show your employer what the federal government says, directly from the horse's mouth, so to speak, feel free to click the following links and print out the information:

SAMHSA Advisory - EtG (Original 2006)

SAMHSA Advisory - EtG (Revised 2012)

If you have a follow-up question or need clarification, please just say the word by using "reply" to reach me.

I truly hope all works out for you.

Take care,

Ben, R.N., J.D.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks so much. I just read the SAMHSA, but didn't notice a direct statement related to EtG and the ability to get a BAC? So, is it now possible? If it is, I'm surprised a testing agency would not include a disclaimer.
Hi Patrick,
Thanks for writing back and nice to hear from you!
Basically, it goes like this. The government hasn't outright "banned" the use of this particular test, but it's rather strenuously advising against relying on it -- especially under circumstances such as went along with your collection, storage and reporting of results. In other words, technically it's up to a given employer if it elects to rely on the test, meaning it's not illegal to do so. Just quite unwise and unfair -- at least in my personal opinion -- given the multitude of things that can go wrong at various points along the way.
In your case, the fact of refrigeration is highly relevant. Frankly, it makes me wonder about the integrity of the entire process, including maintenance of an unbroken and reliable chain of custody.
I think you've gotten a rather raw deal here, and I do hope you prevail.
Take care,
Ben, R.N., J.D.
Help4Health and other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok, thanks again, wish there was something like maybe case law that delt with the reliability of actually deriving BAC from the EtG.
Hey Patrick,
You are quite welcome, my pleasure entirely!
And yep, I hear you. Generally, the case law develops rather slowly in such cases (not surprising given that the law tends to evolve at a snail's pace). I would predict we'll first see more attention given in judicial actions (court cases), and then after a lag hopefully some changes in employment settings. I realize, of course, none of that provides a perfect and instant remedy. The best ammunition we have today is to make a compelling argument of unreliability and try to convince employers.
Hang in there, and thanks again -- pleasure interacting with you!
, R.N., J.D.
Hello Patrick,

I enjoyed working with you recently.

How are things going?

Is there anything else I can do to help?

Please just let me know.


Ben, R.N., J.D.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for checking back. I did finally receive the test results that revealed a .09 g/dl or BAC (ethyl alcohol, not EtG). Also, the test was not performed for 4 days... I think it's impossible considering the time between drinking and the sample? Without a post sampling synthesis of ethanol. I wonder if there is some negligence by the lab -- Medtox for not informing my employer of questionable reliability?