breathalysers-australia transparent logo
truck-icon-red-banner

Same day local dispatch

australia-icon-red-banner

Australian owned

Breathalysers

1-3 year warranty

breathalyser

Australia's industry specialist

Alcohol Pee Test Strips: What It Is and How It Works

05 December, 2023

A technician dipping at test strip in urine sample

An alcohol pee test strip is a testing tool that determines if a person has recently consumed alcohol. It works by dipping the test strip in a urine sample to detect the presence of alcohol in the system. The strip is coated with antibody agents that react with alcohol. Within minutes, it shows the results through a colour change indicator. This method offers convenience for many individuals and organisations who want to monitor alcohol use.

Alcohol consumption is a common activity. However, excessive intake often leads to severe impairment in judgment, perception, and motor functions. Hence, it increases the risk of accidents and other safety risks. This makes alcohol testing crucial. Individuals may use various methods, such as a breathalyser, to measure their Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). However, urine testing may be more suitable in other cases. This article will explore what alcohol test strips are, how they work, and their accuracy.

What is an Alcohol Pee Test Strip?

An alcohol pee test strip is a rapid method of detecting alcohol. This test is suitable for preliminary screening and can give qualitative information, such as negative and non-negative results. In addition, it can give the results within five minutes. It is common in workplaces, probationary programs, and healthcare facilities to monitor the consumption of alcohol.

The testing strip is a small and thin device made of absorbent material, such as paper or plastic, and covered with chemicals. They are relatively easy to use and easy to administer. However, it is important to note that alcohol test strips are not as precise as laboratory tests. For more comprehensive results, a more sophisticated analytical procedure may be utilised.

Urine test strips are available in pharmacies and online. They come with a product insert for instructions and a colour chart. It is vital to read and follow these instructions to ensure the accuracy of the test. Furthermore, it is a sensitive tool that needs careful and proper handling.

Benefits of the Test Kits

  • Ease of use: test kits are convenient and less invasive for alcohol screening.
  • Affordable: they are less expensive than laboratory testing, making them cost-efficient.
  • Versatile uses: they are applicable in various situations, such as personal, workplace, legal, and medical settings.
  • Long detection window: urine samples provide an extended period of tracing alcohol. For example, Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) and Ethyl Sulfate (EtS), biomarkers of alcohol consumption, are detectable in urine for up to 80 hours.
  • Capability to retest: the sample can be used for retesting for laboratory confirmation.
  • Complete drug screening system: aside from alcohol, the test kits can also detect illicit drugs.

A technician dipping a test strip from urine sample in a test tube

How an Alcohol Pee Test Strips Works

Alcohol pee test strips work primarily using enzymatic methods for the determination of ethyl alcohol in human fluids. The device is sensitive to the presence of a specific enzyme called Alcohol Dehydrogenase (ADH). After alcohol ingestion, the body breaks down alcohol for easy elimination. The byproducts enter the urinary system, where they are excreted through urine.

During the alcohol test, the individual provides a urine sample into a collection container. Then, they dip the test strip into the sample for a few seconds and read the results after five minutes. The antibody-coated material on the strip will change colour if it detects the presence of alcohol. However, there will be no changes if alcohol is not present.

It is important to refer to the colour chart indicator to determine the results. Furthermore, individuals should wait for the full five minutes or as indicated in the kit before reading the results. This is to minimise inaccurate readings, as the colour can still change within that time frame.

What are the Common Substances that Can be Detected?

Urine alcohol test kits can detect various substances. Mainly, it tests for ethanol, the main compound in alcoholic beverages. It can also identify metabolites like EtG and EtS. Specialised devices are also available for specific substances. However, the kits can also be sensitive to isopropanol and methanol, which are usually found in cleaning agents and solvents.

These tools are also efficient for drug screening. It can detect a wide array of drugs, including prescription drugs. The common substances included are marijuana (THC), cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, and Phencyclidine (PCP). This number of drugs it can trace also depends on the test panels.

A person filling out the test result form

Accuracy and Reliability of an Alcohol Pee Test Strips

The accuracy of alcohol pee test strips can vary according to various factors. Firstly, the product quality itself can influence the test. Test kits or devices may differ in their cut-off levels and sensitivity. To ensure reliability and consistency, it is advisable to get a certified device like those with Australian Standard (AS4308:2008) accreditation.

Secondly, urine test kits are reliable in detecting alcohol and other substances within minutes. This makes them cost-efficient for drug and alcohol screening. However, they are limited to giving qualitative results. A non-negative sample means it detects a significant amount of alcohol in urine. In workplaces, this result necessitates confirmation testing through a laboratory analysis.

It is essential to follow the sample collection procedure to obtain accurate results. Some settings may require a supervised collection method to prevent adulteration. In this method, an officer will monitor the individual while providing the sample. Lastly, testing officers follow the standard protocols in handling the specimens to maintain sample integrity.

Factors that Can Influence the Results

Several factors can influence the test, including improper handling and the presence of interfering substances. The samples must be stored at the right temperature and away from direct sunlight and extreme conditions. Moreover, urine is susceptible to contamination from external sources, such as smoke and cleaning agents in the room.

Furthermore, individuals taking prescription medications or having medical conditions are prone to false positives. Thus, it is advisable to inform a doctor or the testing officer of these factors before taking the test. This can help them assess the samples more accurately. Always follow additional instructions, such as abstaining from certain foods and drinks.

Conclusion

An alcohol pee test strip is a cost-effective device that can detect alcohol in waste fluids. The test kit consists of a test strip that reacts to the presence of certain substances. This allows individuals or businesses to conduct rapid alcohol screening without the high cost of laboratories. In addition, they provide numerous benefits. These tools are convenient and easy to use. They also provide immediate results, enabling organisations or health professionals to make informed decisions.

Urine alcohol testing determines if a person is under the influence while performing sensitive tasks or has alcohol use disorders. Therefore, regular monitoring of alcohol helps prevent accidents and health risks. Nevertheless, it is crucial to know the various factors that can influence the results. Individuals or collection officers must ensure the proper handling and storage of the samples to minimise inaccuracies. When used correctly, they can provide reliable results.

0
    Shopping Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Calculate Shipping
      Shipping options will be updated during checkout.

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Is Device Size Important?

      Is Device Size Important?

      Is Device Size Important?

      Driving Restrictions? (P Platers, Zero Tolerance etc)

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Key Benefits

      Your Perfect Match

      Key Benefits

      A technician dipping at test strip in urine sample

      Would you like extra mouthpieces?

      Your Perfect Match

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      You may be interested in…

      Thank you for registering your breathalyser.

      Our system will now automatically send you a notification when your calibration is due.

      Your Perfect Match

      Also Recommended

      Why upgrade?

      Are you Testing Employees?