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Mobile Alcohol Testing: Overview

03 November, 2023

An intoxicated employee staring at his smartphone

Alcohol consumption poses several risks to individuals and organisations. Thus, they avail of testing services from providers. However, some methods often require them to go to a specific location, causing delays and inconvenience. Mobile alcohol testing is an efficient solution to this problem. They can simply contact a certified collector who will bring the necessary equipment for breath or urine tests. This eliminates the need for transportation to a testing facility and makes the process easier.

The effects of alcohol are both short-term and long-term. It can range from physical to psychological effects. This can be concerning not just for the individual, but also for those around them. It can affect relationships and work environments. Employees may not be able to perform their tasks, leading to issues. This then results in a need for testing services. The following sections will present what mobile testing is, the types of tests to use, and its legality.

What is Mobile Alcohol Testing

Mobile alcohol testing is the process of conducting tests outside of a traditional laboratory setting. Individuals can be screened for alcohol consumption on the spot conveniently. With testing services, employers and individuals can quickly determine alcohol intake. Moreover, it informs them if Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) exceeds legal limits.

This type of testing is particularly useful for employers who need to enforce a workplace alcohol policy. It is also beneficial for them to ensure the safety and productivity of their employees. They can do it on a random basis, as part of a reasonable suspicion program, or as a scheduled event. By implementing programs, companies can significantly reduce risks.

The use of the testing also extends to civilians who want to test themselves or their loved ones. Parents who want to confirm if their children are drinking alcohol can avail of services. A testing specialist will travel to their home to conduct the test. This allows for it to be done discreetly and privately. Overall, it offers accessibility, particularly for businesses with a large workforce or individuals unable to visit a testing facility.

Benefits to Employers and Employees

The testing service is beneficial. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Fast-acting: It can quickly detect any levels of alcohol in the system. This helps employers because it allows them to quickly assess the situation and act accordingly if necessary.
  • Convenience: People do not have to leave their homes or their workplaces for testing. This saves time and offers privacy. Employers do not have to send their employees to travel for a test.
  • Cost-effective: Most services require only minimal upfront investment. They are also often cheaper than traditional tests that require lab analysis, which can become costly.

A professional conducting a saliva test on male individual

Types of Mobile Alcohol Testing

There are several kinds of mobile alcohol testing methods. Firstly, there is the breath test. It is one of the most common types, which measures the level of alcohol in the breath. This utilises handheld breathalyser devices that are portable and easy to use. The individual blows into the machine. Afterwards, it quickly provides a BAC reading. It is non-invasive and provides immediate results. Thus, it is highly efficient for on-the-spot testing.

Secondly, there is the saliva test. It involves a collection of specimens by swabbing the inside of the cheeks. The testing specialist will analyse the sample for the presence of alcohol. This method is less invasive and provides fast results. Also, it allows for discreet and convenient testing in mobile locations, making it an effective option for workplace testing programs.

Lastly, there is the urine test. This is usually used for pre-employment and post-accident testing. It provides accurate results with minimal effort. Collecting a urine sample is relatively easy. Providers go to the location and ask the donor to provide the specimen. It can then be sent to an approved lab or third-party provider for further analysis.

Common Substances Detected

The testing services are not limited to alcohol detection alone. They can also identify common substances, including illicit drugs and commonly abused prescription medications. Mobile testing programs are designed to test for drugs of abuse such as cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, opioids, and more.

Specifically, using a urine test can detect the presence of drugs up to 24 hours after use. Substances can impair the senses, like slower reaction times. This can lead to accidents and errors in judgment. Thus, the comprehensive approach ensures safety and productivity by identifying individuals who may be under the influence of substances.

A gavel, book, and weighing scale

Legality of Mobile Alcohol Testing

Mobile alcohol testing is a crucial aspect of maintaining workplace safety and ensuring compliance with testing programs. Various factors determine its legality. This includes local and federal laws and regulations. In most jurisdictions, it is legally permitted as long as certain guidelines are followed. These guidelines consist of obtaining consent, using approved testing methods and devices, and complying with privacy and confidentiality laws.

Testing services must adhere to strict legal requirements to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the process. This includes using certified equipment and following standardised procedures for sample collection, analysis, and reporting. Additionally, trained professionals who are knowledgeable about local laws and regulations surrounding alcohol testing should conduct the tests.

Employers must adhere to workplace policies and guidelines to conduct reasonable suspicion or random testing. They must also stay up to date with local and national laws regarding substance testing to ensure compliance. By using legally compliant collection devices, such as saliva or breath alcohol testing devices, businesses can accurately and legally detect the presence of alcohol.

Cost

The cost of implementing mobile testing programs can vary depending on several factors. These include the size of the company, the frequency and scope of testing and the number of employees or individuals being tested. In addition, the cost of collection devices, such as breathalysers and saliva collection kits, must also be taken into consideration.

Service providers typically charge a fee for each test they conduct. Moreover, some providers may charge additional fees for on-site testing services, equipment rental, or transportation costs of their staff. The average price range of testing is $20 – 150 per test, with discounts for bulk orders.

Conclusion

Mobile alcohol testing is a convenient and reliable way to test for alcohol consumption. It is useful for businesses and individuals in need of testing services. This approach ensures accessibility, saves time, and provides dependable results. Thus, it is an ideal choice for maintaining integrity and safety by adhering to legal requirements and regulations. The results are available quickly, helping organisations and civilians take timely action if necessary.

Administering a test is possible in a variety of locations. It can be at home, on the job site, or during traffic stops. This is legal as long as it abides by laws and regulations. Testing services provide many advantages over others. This includes more safety and productivity, policy compliance, fewer legal risks, better morale, and early issue identification. While the cost may be an initial concern, it is essential to consider these potential benefits.

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