There are many reasons to why people must have their alcohol level tested. For example, you may need to have your alcohol level checked for criminal purposes such as checking if the criminal was influenced by alcohol during the crime. A second reason could be for medical reasons such as a doctor testing a patient’s alcohol levels to check if he can give him a particular medication. The two most common ways people test for alcohol levels are through testing the levels of alcohol through people’s hair and blood. Both have benefits and drawbacks, and I am going to tell you all about both of the methods now.
Hair Alcohol Testing
Did you know that after eighty hours’ alcohol will no longer be within a urine sample? This means that you only have eight hours to check someone’s urine to check if alcohol is present within their system. On the other hand, with hair alcohol abuse can be shown within your hair follicles for up to six months after the initial alcohol abuse. A second great benefit about testing hair for alcohol abuse would be that it is very easy to get a sample of someone’s hair. The reason why alcohol levels can be found in someone’s hair is because the chemical Ethyl Glucuronide will build up on the hair follicles and this chemical will tell you if alcohol is in the system. The reason to why this chemical is found in someone’s hair is because they are sweating and through the sweat, this chemical will be released into the person’s hair.
There, however, is a few disadvantages when it comes to testing someone’s hair for alcohol abuse. For example, if someone has gel or hairspray in his or her hair which contains alcohol that means the test will be affected.
Blood Alcohol Testing
Alcohol can be found in the blood within four weeks of consumption. This means that if the criminal has just committed the crime, they will use this method to test for alcohol as it is the most reliable. This test is better and more reliable than the hair test as the blood will give an exact reading of how much blood is in the system and when it was roughly consumed. This is not the same as with hair as gels that contain alcohol can tamper with results.
A disadvantage of this common procedure is that it can take a long time. For example, it will take up to thirty days for the doctor to figure out if there is indeed alcohol within your blood stream. A second disadvantage would be that alcohol levels in the blood can be altered through stress. For example, when a person is in stress the body releases chemicals and those chemicals can be misread as alcohol levels within blood testing.
To conclude, there are advantages and disadvantages to both methods for testing alcohol levels within your body. The bottom line is that blood testing for alcohol levels is more reliable as it will not have items such as hair gels to tamper with the evidence. On the other hand, hair testing for alcohol levels stay longer in the system, but they should only be used when alcohol has not been consumed in over four weeks.
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