Do Employers Care About Alcohol Consumption?

Do Employers Care About Alcohol Consumption

Often, selective candidates are screened in the initial pre-employment drug test conducted in various firms and workplaces, depending on federal law for the use of illegal drugs. And among these drugs, one is alcohol.

Yes! It might be quite surprising, but some workplaces also screen for alcohol in their pre-employment test. However, only a few tests are able to detect alcohol presence in collected samples.

But why does alcohol consumption matter for some employers?

To find it out, dive into the next section.

Do Employers Include Alcohol Screening Tests In The Pre-Employment Drug Test?

In most cases, yes! 

Employers prefer to screen the candidates for alcohol in addition to other drugs in their pre-employment screening test. However, such a type of screening is not part of the regular five-panel drug test. 

In fact, in most cases, alcohol detection tests are carried out separately.

Mostly, firms associated with more safety-sensitive job types go for it. These include hospitals, railways, airlines, military forces, etc.

Is Alcohol A Matter Of Concern For All Employers?

No! Not all employers and firms care about alcohol in their pre-employment drug tests. 

Some employers prefer to go for the simple five-panel testing, which involves the screening of the collected samples for major drugs like marijuana, cocaine, etc., and not for alcohol. 

The reason is that in some countries, alcohol consumption is not banned or illegal. So, in such cases, the firms usually prefer not to go for the alcohol testing, or if they do, they provide a quantitative defined limit beyond which alcohol should not be present.

3 Best Ways To Detect Alcohol In Your Body

Do Employers Care About Alcohol Consumption

The tests commonly done to analyze alcohol amounts in the blood are the breathalyzer, PETH test, saliva Test, etc. The three most common ones are:


Breathalyzer is one of the easiest methods of detecting the presence of alcohol in humans, as hiring a qualified doctor is not always possible.

In this, the exhaled breath of the patient is collected and analyzed for alcohol amount. However, it has a small detection range of 24 hours of consumption only.

Blood Drug PETH Test

Another test used to detect alcohol consumption is the PETH test. In it, the collected blood drops are analyzed using analytical techniques like high-performance for the amount of phosphatidyl ethanol, the direct biomarker for alcohol. 

It is claimed as the most sensitive test for the detection of regular alcohol consumption. 

Moving on to the detection limit, Phosphatidylethanol can be detected in blood up to 12 days of consumption, and an amount of >20 ng/mL can lead to positive results.

Urine Test

A urine test is a non-invasive process in which the collected urine sample of the candidate is analyzed for different alcohol metabolites. 

The detection window for urine tests is of 1 to 3 days almost. However, the prime products obtained on breakage of alcohol, ethyl glucuronide, and ethyl sulfate remain in the blood for up to 5 days. The test helps detect it.

Apart from these, hair and saliva tests are also done, which show positive results for alcohol if done within two days and three months of alcohol consumption, respectively. Yes! They have a large detection window. 

Can You Get Alcohol Out Of Your Body Within No Time?

Do Employers Care About Alcohol Consumption

How fast a substance leaves your body depends on its rate of elimination and decomposition. 

No matter how much alcohol one consumes, it degrades at a fixed rate of 0.016 BAC per 60 minutes. 

So, it is recommended not to drink alcohol at least one month before your screening test to avoid a positive test. 

Why Employers Perform Alcohol Tests In Drug Screening

Now that you are up with the basic alcohol screening test let’s enlist some reasons why Employers perform alcohol tests in drug screening. These include:

  • Foster a safe and healthy environment for the working employees.
  • Disqualify people who are exposed to using illegal drugs as there are chances that alcohol consumption can reduce their productivity¬†
  • Comply with the rules and regulations of federal law.
  • Reduce the chances of injuries and accidents in the workplace.

What Other Drugs Are Tested In The Regular Drug Test?

Apart from alcohol, there is a list of other illegal drugs that are tested in drug screening tests in order to ensure a safe and healthy environment in the workplace. These include:

  • Amphetamines
  • Oxycodone
  • Cocaine¬†
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Buprenorphine
  • Marijuana
  • Opiates

Mostly, five-panel or ten-panel drug tests are used to screen all these drugs.

Things To Consider Before Alcohol Drug Test 

Have your alcohol drug test less than a fortnight ahead? Here are some additional tips to consider:

  • Avoid caffeine consumption 24 hours before the test.
  • Avoid eating fast food.
  • It would be best if you fast the night before the alcohol screen test.
  • Try not to use Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, Mouthwashes, and anything that contains even a bit of alcohol, as it can ultimately result in a false positive test of EtG.

One Last Word

To cut it short, yes, employers do care for alcohol in the drug test. However, not always. There are some firms and workplaces like transportation and healthcare departments where you need to maintain an extra safe environment with no risk of accidents. Only these types of work areas go for alcohol testing. 

Mostly, the breathalyzer test is used to analyze alcohol consumption. However, other tests can also be performed.

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