DOT Procedures: Blood Alcohol and Breathalyzer Tests

Do DOT procedures include blood alcohol tests and breathalyzer tests? Please continue reading for some
interesting information.



The Department of Transportation’s Alcohol Testing Policy

In the strictest meaning of the word, the idea of “DOT procedures: blood alcohol tests” is something that is the
product of misinformation.

More to the point, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has established procedures for mandatory alcohol
testing that require the employment of a standard breath alcohol test such as a breathalyzer test, rather than the
use of a blood alcohol test, a blood test for alcohol, or an alcohol blood test.

Furthermore, the categories of testing that are allowed by the DOT are the following: random, reasonable
suspicion, and post-accident.

Consequently, if your workplace has mandatory alcohol testing that is grounded on the Department of
Transportation’s procedures, and if management tells you to get an alcohol test that is outside the latitude of DOT
procedures (such as a blood alcohol test), contact your local union representative or Employees’ Assistance
Representative as soon as you can.

In short, if your place of employment conforms to DOT alcohol testing procedures, you should not be required to
take any alcohol test that differs from the Department of Transportation protocol.

Conclusion: DOT Procedures and Blood Alcohol and Breathalyzer
Tests

Do DOT procedures include blood alcohol tests and breathalyzer tests? In a word, the answer to this question is
“no.”

More specifically, the Department of Transportation has established alcohol testing procedures that use a breath
alcohol test such as a standard breathalyzer test and not a blood test for alcohol, an alcohol blood test, or a
blood alcohol test.

DOT Blood Alcohol Tests

Question: Do DOT blood alcohol tests exist, or is this a misnomer? Another question: What kind of alcohol
tests does the Department of Transportation use?



The Alcohol Testing Protocol of The Department of
Transportation

DOT Alcohol Testing. Actually, the concept of “DOT blood alcohol tests” is a concept arising
from misinformation.

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) procedures established for mandatory alcohol testing require the
employment of a breath alcohol test such as a standardized breathalyzer, not an alcohol blood test, a blood alcohol
test, or a blood test for alcohol.

The categories of testing that are allowed by the DOT are the following: random, post-accident, and reasonable
suspicion.

Note. If your organization or business has mandatory alcohol testing that is based on DOT procedures, and if
management tells you to get an alcohol test that is outside the parameters of DOT guidelines (such as a blood
alcohol test), contact your local Employees’ Assistance Representative or your union representative right away.

In a word, if your organization adheres to DOT alcohol testing policies and procedures, you should not be
required to take any alcohol test that differs from Department of Transportation protocol.

Conclusion: DOT Blood Alcohol Tests

From the above discussion we can conclude that an alcohol blood test, a blood test for alcohol, or a blood
alcohol test is not part of the DOT alcohol testing protocol of the Department of Transportation.

More precisely, the Department of Transportation’s procedures for mandatory alcohol testing require the use of a
standardized breath alcohol test such as a breathalyzer test rather than the employment of alcohol blood tests or
blood alcohol tests.

Detection Time of Alcohol in Urine Drug Test

The detection time of alcohol in urine drug tests can be as long as 80 hours if Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) is
used.



Ethyl glucuronide (EtG) and the Detection of Alcohol in the Urine

The detection of alcohol in the urine typically employs Ethyl glucuronide (EtG), a direct metabolite of ethanol
alcohol. The presence of EtG in the urine is used to detect recent alcohol consumption, even after the ethanol
alcohol is no longer detectable.

As a result, the presence of EtG in the urine is a definitive indicator that alcohol was ingested.

Traditional laboratory practices usually measure the amount of alcohol present in the body. Depending on the
amount of alcohol has been consumed, the traditional methodology typically reveals alcohol consumption that took
place within the past few hours.

The presence of EtG in the urine, conversely, demonstrates that ethanol alcohol was ingested within the past 3
or 4 days, or roughly 80 hours after the ethanol alcohol has been metabolized by the body.

As a result, it can be determined that a urine alcohol test employing EtG is a more accurate indicator of the
recent consumption of alcohol as opposed to simply measuring for the existence of ethanol alcohol.

Conclusion: Detection Time of Alcohol in Urine Drug Test

In summary, since the detection time of alcohol in urine drug tests can be as long as 80 hours if EtG is used,
EtG urine tests can almost instantly detect that alcohol was ingested within the past 3 or 4 days.

Beating the Alcohol Swab Test

The least expensive and the “best” way of beating the alcohol swab test is to drink plenty of water, detox
your body via perspiration, and refrain from excessive alcohol drinking.



An alcohol swab test is a saliva alcohol test that is a common form of testing for alcohol, especially in
the workplace.

The best way to detox the body and prepare for a saliva alcohol test is by drinking plenty of water, by
perspiration, and of course, by abstaining from drinking alcohol. This is especially the case for individuals with
high toxin levels.

Detoxifying the Body, Metabolism, and Alcohol

Toxins are stored in your fatty tissues. Abstinence, drinking water, and perspiring are the best ways to get
“clean” or lower your alcohol metabolite count, thus making it easier to mask the toxins that remain.

How quickly an individual can detoxify the body from alcohol toxins depends on his or her rate of metabolism,
the fatty tissue count, the strength and amount of toxins that were ingested, and the length of time the toxins
were ingested.

Ultra Klean Saliva Mouth Wash

In addition to abstinence, drinking water, and perspiring, there is something else a person can do to best
prepare for a saliva alcohol test: use Ultra Klean Saliva Mouth Wash.

More specifically, if a person is notified that he or she will be taking an alcohol swab test he or she has
hopefully abstained from drinking alcohol and has been drinking plenty of water and perspiring to rid the body of
alcohol toxins.

In addition, up to 30 or 40 minutes before the saliva test, the person can place Ultra Klean Saliva Mouth Wash
in his or her mouth, swish the mouth wash around for two or three minutes, and then spit the mouth wash out.

Doing this will coat the mouth with the mouth wash solution and will clean the mouth of toxins for around 30 to
40 minutes.

Interestingly. the company that makes this mouth wash is so confident that it will work, that they offer a 500%
money-back guarantee if a person fails his or her drug test!

Conclusion: Beating the Alcohol Swab Test

The least costly and the most appropriate way of beating the alcohol swab test is to detox your body via
perspiration, drink lots of water, and abstain from drinking alcohol. There is, however, another way to accomplish
this, namely rinse your mouth for two or three minutes with Ultra Klean Saliva Mouth Wash.

Datamaster 2000 Breath Alcohol Test

A breath alcohol test, also called an alcohol breath test, is without a doubt the most commonly employed
method of testing for an individual’s blood alcohol level or blood alcohol concentration in the United
States.



A breathalyzer is a breath alcohol testing device that is used for estimating a person’s blood alcohol
content (BAC) from a breath sample. In the United States, the Datamaster 2000 breath alcohol tester is one of the
most common breathalyzer brand names currently in use.

How Breathalyzers Work and Some of Their Deficiencies

Breathalyzers do not directly measure blood alcohol concentration or content. Measuring blood alcohol content
(BAC) requires the analysis of a blood sample.

Breathalyzers, rather, estimate blood alcohol concentration or content indirectly by measuring the amount of
alcohol in a person’s breath.

A major issue with some breathalyzers, such as the Datamaster 2000, is that they not only detect the ethyl
alcohol found in alcohol beverages, but also in other substances that have a similar molecular structure.

Stated differently, the “problem” breathalyzers identify any compound containing the methyl group molecular
structure.

And the issue with this is that more than one hundred compounds can be found in a human’s breath at any one time
and 70% to 80% of these compounds contain the methyl group molecular structure.

The upshot of this is that these methyl group molecular structures will be incorrectly identified and labeled as
ethyl alcohol. Ironically, the more ethyl group substances the breathalyzer detects, the higher the false blood
alcohol content estimate will be.

The Breath Alcohol Test

An alcohol breath test, also known as a breath alcohol test, is by far the most frequently employed method of
testing for a person’s blood alcohol level or blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

While not as reliable or as accurate as a blood alcohol test or an alcohol blood test, the breath alcohol test
is the most economical and the most convenient alcohol testing method for the police and the least invasive,
embarrassing, or painful for the individual receiving the test.

One of the most frequent causes of false high breath alcohol test readings is the presence of mouth alcohol.

In fact, products such as breath spray or mouth wash can “fool” breathalyzers by substantially raising test
results.

Listerine, for instance, contains approximately 27% alcohol. If an individual were to rinse his or her mouth
with Listerine a few seconds before taking a breath alcohol test, for example, this could certainly produce a false
BAC reading.

In examining a person’s breath sample, the breath alcohol testing instrument’s internal computing mechanism is
calibrated to elicit results based on the assumption that the alcohol in the breath sample came from air exhaled
from deep within the person’s lungs (i.e., alveolar air).

The reality of the situation, however, is that for a number of reasons, the alcohol may have come from the
person’s stomach, throat, or mouth. To help prevent mouth-alcohol contamination, certified breath alcohol test
operators are trained to vigilantly observe an individual for at least 15 to 20 minutes before administering the
breath alcohol test.

Findings by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that people who are diabetics or
dieters can have acetone levels that are hundreds, if not a thousand of times higher than people who are not
diabetics or dieters.

The key concern here is that acetone is one of the many substances that can be falsely detected as ethyl alcohol
by some breathalyzers.

There’s also numerous products found in the environment that can lead to erroneous BAC results with
breathalyzers.

Some these products include substances or compounds found in cleaning fluids, paint removers, celluloid,
gasoline, and lacquers.

Other common substances that can result in false BAC levels are alcohol, blood, or vomit in the person’s mouth.
False BAC readings can also be triggered by police radios, moisture, tobacco smoke, cell phones, electrical
interference, and dirt.

Breathalyzers can be very sensitive to temperature and will result in false readings if they are not
recalibrated or adjusted to compensate for ambient or surrounding air temperatures.

Furthermore, the temperature of the person being tested is also important. More to the point, each degree (in
Fahrenheit) in the subject’s body temperature above 98.6 can result in a relatively large elevation (about 8%) in
apparent BAC.

A person’s breathing rate can also significantly affect breathalyzer results. For example, one study showed that
the BAC readings of individuals who ran up a flight of stairs decreased 11% to 14%. Furthermore, when these
individuals ran up the stairs a second time, their BAC readings decreased 22% to 25%.

Another study demonstrated similar results (a decrease in BAC of 15%) in individuals who hyperventilated or who
exercised vigorously.

Moreover, hyperventilation for just 20 seconds has been shown to lower the breathalyzer BAC readings by about
10%. Conversely, individuals who hold their breath for 30 seconds can increase the breathalyzer BAC results by
around 15%.

The failure of law enforcement officers to use the breathalyzers correctly and to properly maintain and
re-calibrate the units when necessary also lead to false test scores.

The Breath Alcohol Test: Breathalyzers

Breathalyzer tests are the most common form of breath alcohol tests and have the following characteristics:

  • They do not directly measure blood alcohol concentration or content.
  • They estimate blood alcohol content or concentration indirectly by measuring the amount of alcohol in a
    person’s breath.

  • They not only detect the ethyl alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, but also in other substances that have
    a similar molecular structure.

  • They can result in false blood alcohol content readings if law enforcement officers fail to use the
    breathalyzers properly or fail to properly re-calibrate or maintain the devices when necessary.

  • They can result in false blood alcohol concentration readings from compounds or substances found in
    lacquers, cleaning fluids, celluloid, paint removers, and gasoline.

  • They can lead to false blood alcohol content results from vomit, blood, or alcohol present in the person’s
    mouth from products such as mouth spray or mouth wash.

  • They can result in false blood alcohol concentration readings due to an individual’s breathing rate caused
    by hyperventilation, a person holding his or her breath, or vigorous exercise.

  • They can result in false blood alcohol content readings caused from tobacco police radios, smoke, dirt,
    electrical interference, moisture, and cell phones.

Conclusion: Datamaster 2000 Breath Alcohol Test

A breathalyzer is a device that is used for estimating a person’s blood alcohol concentration froma breath
sample. The Datamaster 2000 blood alcohol test is one of the most common breathalyzer brand names currently in use
in the United States.

One of the most common causes of false high breath alcohol test results is the presence of mouth alcohol.
Indeed, products such as breath spray or mouth wash can “fool” breath alcohol testers such as breathalyzers by
significantly raising test results.

Listerine mouth wash, for example, contains roughly 27% alcohol. If a person were to rinse his or her mouth with
Listerine a few seconds before taking a breath alcohol test, for instance, this could easily produce a false blood
alcohol concentration reading.

Keep in mind that research has demonstrated that breath alcohol test results with a breathalyzer can vary at
least 15% from actual blood alcohol concentration levels measured with a blood test.

It is also important to point out that an estimated 23% of individuals tested with breathalyzers will have a
blood alcohol content reading higher than their actual blood alcohol concentration level.

While not as accurate or as reliable as an alcohol blood test or a blood alcohol test, the breath alcohol test
is the most convenient and the most economical alcohol testing method currently used by the police and is also the
least painful, embarrassing, and the least invasive method for the person receiving the alcohol test.

Company Alcohol Tests

As a result of increasing monetary losses due to alcohol-related accidents and “sick days,” an increasing
number of company alcohol tests are being implemented by employers throughout the United States.



Stated differently, a number of companies and organizations are utilizing alcohol screening tests and random
alcohol tests as part of their employee drug and alcohol testing programs.

The Primary Alcohol Test Types

There are five primary types of alcohol tests available to companies:

  • Urine alcohol tests
  • Blood alcohol tests
  • Saliva alcohol tests
  • Breath alcohol tests (also called breathalyzer alcohol tests)
  • Hair alcohol tests

Until 2008, hair testing could only detect drugs and not alcohol. Please click here for more information about
Hair Tests For Alcohol.

The Basic Characteristics of Urine Alcohol Tests

Urine Alcohol Tests have the following characteristics:

  • They are the least expensive of the alcohol testing methods.
  • They can be used at home, for instance, by parents, though lab verification is required for accurate
    results.

  • They are considered an intrusive method of testing.
  • They can be affected by abstaining from drinking for a period of time before the test.
  • They detect alcohol ingestion mainly within the past week, or longer with regular drinking.
  • They are often temperature tested to assure sample integrity.
  • They indicate the presence of alcohol in a person’s system, but it takes up to 2 hours for the alcohol to
    show up in urine.

Urine Alcohol Tests Pros

  • They have a high assurance of reliable results.
  • They are relatively inexpensive.
  • They provide the most flexibility in testing different drugs, including alcohol and nicotine.
  • They are the most likely of all drug-testing methods to withstand legal challenge.

Urine Alcohol Tests Cons

  • The specimen can be adulterated, substituted, or diluted.
  • They have a limited window of detection (typically 1 to 5 days).
  • They are considered as invasive or embarrassing form of testing.
  • They present a biological hazard when the specimens are handled and shipped to the lab.
  • They indicate the presence of alcohol in a person’s system, but it takes up to 2 hours for the alcohol to
    show up in urine.

  • A positive urine test does not necessarily mean the person was under the influence of alcohol at the time
    of the test. Rather, it detects and measures the use of alcohol within the previous day or so.

Blood Alcohol Tests

Alcohol blood tests are also called blood tests for alcohol and blood alcohol tests and have the following
characteristics:

  • They are the most accurate method for testing a person’s blood alcohol content
  • They are the most expensive method to testing a person’s blood alcohol content.
  • They are the most intrusive method for testing BAC.
  • Due mainly to their high cost and to their intrusiveness, blood tests are the least common method for
    testing a person’s BAC.

Saliva Alcohol Tests

Saliva alcohol tests detect the presence of alcohol in the saliva, and are a relatively good approximation of
blood alcohol content (BAC). Due to the fact that the concentration of alcohol in saliva is very likely to be
similar to the BAC that is in the blood, saliva is the preferred alcohol testing method.

Saliva Tests have the following characteristics:

  • They are slightly more expensive than urine testing, but less than hair or blood testing
  • They are a relatively non-intrusive method of drug testing
  • They are becoming more common compared to the other methods of testing
  • They are easy to administer but require lab processing for accuracy
  • They detect use primarily within the past day or so
  • They can detect more recent drug use than other testing methods
  • They have no nationally accepted cutoff concentrations or standards for detection. This makes the results
    more dependent on the specific product employed and could make results less-reliable and/or acceptable for
    legal considerations

  • They are more reliable for the detection of methamphetamine and opiates and less reliable for THC or
    cannabinoids

Saliva Alcohol Tests Pros

The following list represents the positive aspects of saliva drug tests:

  • They provide samples that are acquired under direct observation.
  • They present a minimal risk of tampering.
  • They spare patients the discomfort of repeated vein punctures.
  • They are non-invasive.
  • They present no risk of infection, thrombosis, or anemia.
  • They present lower total testing costs since no special staff training is required for collection.
  • They provide for samples that can be collected easily in almost any environment.
  • They can detect alcohol use.
  • They reflect recent drug use.

Saliva Alcohol Tests Cons

The following list represents the negative aspects of saliva drug tests:

  • They present some detection limitation since drugs and drug metabolites do not remain in the saliva as long
    as they do in the urine.

  • They are less efficient than other testing methods in detecting marijuana use.
  • They provide a relatively short window of detection, approximately 10 to 24 hours.

Breath Alcohol Tests

Breath alcohol tests are also known breathalyzer alcohol tests and have the following characteristics:

  • They do not directly measure blood alcohol concentration or content.
  • They estimate blood alcohol concentration or content indirectly by measuring the amount of alcohol in one’s
    breath.

  • They not only detect the ethyl alcohol found in alcohol beverages, but also in other substances that have a
    similar molecular structure.

  • They can result in false BAC readings caused from cell phones, police radios, electrical interference,
    moisture, dirt, and tobacco smoke.

  • They can result in false BAC readings from substances or compounds found in gasoline, paint removers,
    cleaning fluids, celluloid, and lacquers.

  • They can lead to false BAC results from blood, vomit, or alcohol present in the person’s mouth.
  • They can result in false BAC readings due to a person’s breathing rate caused by vigorous exercise,
    hyperventilation, or a person holding one’s breath.

  • They can result in false BAC readings if law enforcement personnel fail to use the breathalyzers properly
    or fail to properly maintain and re-calibrate the units when necessary.

While Alcohol is not part of the standard “NIDA 5” drug test, it is not uncommon for organizations to test for
alcohol in certain situations. It is, for instance, less common in pre-employment tests, but is frequently used for
parole testing or for random on-the-job testing, especially for jobs that involve high safety precautions.

Workplace Testing Options

Workplace drug and alcohol testing can be undertaken for a multitude of reasons. The following represents some
of the more common types of testing:

  • Pre-employment testing. Job applicants are tested prior to employment.
  • Internal transfer testing. Employees applying for new positions are tested, particularly when moving from a
    “non-safety” to a “safety-critical” position.

  • Post-accident testing. Employees involved in any significant accident or incident are tested immediately to
    identify whether drugs or alcohol were a factor.

  • Reasonable grounds testing. Employees are tested when there are reasonable grounds for suspecting drug or
    alcohol use.

  • Random or periodic testing. Employees are tested on a random, unannounced basis.
  • Post-treatment testing. Testing of individual employees as part of a rehabilitation program in order to
    measure progress. On return to work, employees are randomly tested over a 12-24 month period to detect
    relapses.

Conclusion: Company Alcohol Tests

Due to the number of instances of alcohol-related injuries, accidents, and the loss of “person days,”
company alcohol tests are increasing in popularity throughout the United States. That is, an
increasing number of organizations and companies are implementing alcohol screening tests and random alcohol
testing as part of their workplace drug and alcohol testing programs.

In a word, an increasing number of Human Resource directors in numerous companies and organizations are
searching for more detailed information about the various types of alcohol tests so that they can purchase and
implement a reliable and cost-effective method of testing their employees for alcohol abuse.

Alcohol in Blood Tests

When screening for alcohol in blood, tests have been developed that are the most accurate and reliable of
all current alcohol testing methods.



Stated in another way, regarding the validity of the various alcohol testing procedures in use today,
alcohol in blood tests are the most precise and the most trustworthy method for testing an individual’s blood
alcohol level or his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

In spite of their reliability and accuracy, however, blood alcohol tests are the least frequently used
alcohol testing method due to their relatively high cost and their high level of intrusiveness.

The Main Characteristics of Blood Alcohol Tests

Blood alcohol tests are also called alcohol blood tests and blood tests for alcohol and have the following
characteristics:

  • They are the most accurate method for testing a person’s blood alcohol concentration.
  • They are the most expensive method to testing a person’s blood alcohol content.
  • They are the most intrusive method for testing blood alcohol level.
  • Due mainly to their high cost and to their intrusiveness, blood tests are the least common method for
    testing a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

As far as the validity of alcohol in blood tests are concerned, blood alcohol tests are the most accurate method
in use today for testing a person’s blood alcohol content (also known as the blood alcohol concentration or blood
alcohol level).

Conclusion: Alcohol in Blood Tests

As stated above, when organizations and companies screen for alcohol in blood, tests have been developed that
are the most reliable and accurate of all the available alcohol testing procedures.

Interestingly, due to their high level of intrusiveness and their high cost, blood alcohol tests (alcohol called
blood alcohol tests and blood tests for alcohol) are the least frequently used alcohol testing method currently in
use today, despite their high level of accuracy.