What’s a blood alcohol test? How is it done, and when is it necessary? These are the questions in most peoples’ minds. Fortunately, this article contains the answers to such queries and everything else you might need to know about blood alcohol testing. Continue reading to find out more.
Table of Contents
What’s A Blood Alcohol Test And What Is It Used For?
A blood alcohol test determines the amount of alcohol in your blood.
Ethanol is the primary ingredient in alcoholic drinks, such as wine, beer, and distilled spirits or liquors. When you consume an alcoholic drink, your bloodstream immediately absorbs it. After which, the liver tries to break it down to remove it from your body.
Suppose you drink alcohol faster than your liver can break down. In that case, you’ll begin feeling intoxicated or drunk. At this point, alcohol interferes with your brain’s working capacity, resulting in impaired reasoning, among other things.
It’s vital to note that alcohol causes relaxation at first. Then, you might begin to talk more than usual. As the alcohol level increases in your system, you begin experiencing difficulty thinking. You may also find it challenging to move, stand, or speak. At times, you might have slowed reaction time.
Once you continue drinking while intoxicated, you might experience an alcohol overdose. Symptoms related to alcohol overdose include difficulty breathing, vomiting, or even passing out. Severe alcohol overdose can lead to coma or death.
Regarding blood alcohol tests, there are a few ways to determine if one has alcohol in their bloodstream. However, the most common test is the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test, which can detect alcohol in one’s blood up to 12 hours after consuming an alcoholic beverage. The test can also reveal the amount of alcohol the individual has taken. Nevertheless, as already said, there are other alcohol tests available. You may check out sites like www.lextox.co.uk to learn about them and how they’re done.
Moreover, some tests can detect alcohol in your system even weeks after you’ve had an alcoholic beverage. However, these are commonly used to test alcohol use disorder (AUD) or determine if an individual suffering from this condition is maintaining sobriety.
How Is Blood Alcohol Test Done?
During this test, you’ll be required a blood sample from a vein in your arm. A small needle will be used to get the sample, then the blood will be put it in a test tube. The, it’ll be taken to the laboratory for assessment. The medical technologist will then check the alcohol level in your bloodstream and provide the results afterwards.
Depending on the alcohol level in your blood, you’ll be categorized as:
- Legally drunk
- Severely impaired
- At risk of severe complications
Nevertheless, it’s essential to understand that the test’s timing might interfere with its accuracy. A blood alcohol test is likely to be precise six to 12 hours after alcohol consumption. If you think the results might be inaccurate, it’s vital to dispute them since they might be used against you in a court of law.
When Is Blood Alcohol Test Necessary?
A blood alcohol test might be necessary for the following reasons:
- Employment: Sometimes, employers require an alcohol test before hiring someone. After you’re hired, they might also perform an alcohol test to determine if you practice on-the-job drinking. Additionally, after an accident, the employer might subject you to this test to determine if you’re driving while drunk, primarily if the accident occurred during working hours.
- Legal evidence: A good number of accidents are caused by drunk driving. For this reason, authorities rely on such tests to determine if one was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. However, for quick results, police use a breathalyzer, a gadget that uses breath to determine if one is intoxicated. Nevertheless, they might require a blood alcohol test, especially if you end up in the hospital.
- Determining alcohol poisoning: When one goes to the hospital with a life-threatening condition, doctors might need to perform this test to check whether it’s an alcohol poisoning case. For example, children can get alcohol poisoning from consuming household chemicals containing alcohol. Some medicines and mouthwashes contain alcohol, and can be dangerous when a child consumes them.
- Alcohol disorder monitoring: If you’ve been battling alcohol use disorder and are trying to stay sober, this test determines if you’re staying true to the cause.
These are just some of the circumstances where you’ll be required to undergo a blood alcohol test.
The above information provides you with the important details you need to know about blood alcohol tests. You now understand what these tests entail, how they’re done, and when they’re required. Remember, alcohol traces in your bloodstream might put you on the wrong side of the law and interfere with your general wellbeing. If you must consume alcoholic beverages, do so moderately and avoid driving or operating machinery while intoxicated.