HOW LONG AFTER DRINKING CAN YOU DETECT ALCOHOL?
It depends on how much the person had to drink and how long ago they drank. Our bodies eliminate alcohol at the constant rate of about one drink an hour. (More precisely, our bodies lower our alcohol level by .015% BAC per hour.) If a person's intoxication level is about .02%, about one hour later their alcohol level would be zero. On the other hand, if a person had an alcohol level of .20%, twice the legal limit for drunk driving in most states, it would take over 13 hours for their alcohol level to reach zero after they stopped drinking. Once the alcohol level is zero, no alcohol test can detect the alcohol.
CAN MOUTHWASH INTERFERE WITH THE RESULTS OF A BREATH ALCOHOL TEST?
Yes. Proper test procedure requires that the subject have nothing in their mouth for 10 to 15 minutes prior to testing. If the subject has anything with alcohol in their mouth just prior to testing, the alcohol in their mouth will contaminate the test, giving an artificially high reading. However, 15 minutes is sufficient time for all mouthwash to be dissipated.
IS THERE ANY WAY TO FOOL AN ALCOHOL TEST?
A properly administered alcohol test is difficult to fool. As long as the subject delivers an adequate deep lung breath or gives a sufficient oral sample, there is virtually no way to mask the alcohol. If someone claims their positive alcohol test is the result of using mouthwash just prior to being tested, give the person another alcohol test in 15 minutes. A second positive breath alcohol test after 15 minutes cannot be attributed to mouthwash or cough syrup.
IS IT LEGAL TO USE ON-SITE DRUG TESTS IN THE WORKPLACE?
Drug screening laws vary from state to state. You may visit Business Law to check the laws in your state of business.