Pretty much every adult understands that driving while intoxicated is, not only against the law, but just a bad idea. What most adults probably don’t understand, is that there are more ways now than ever before to find out just who is misbehaving. Although there are two pretty standard tests for detecting the presence of alcohol in a driver, blood and breath, there is another, much less used way to detect the past presence of alcohol in the body.
Urine testing for alcohol is not very common, but it can help prove that consumption of alcohol took place within the last three days, which many think is ideal for zero tolerance cases. A urine test checks for the presence of ethyl glucuronide or EtG. This metabolite of ethanol is only present after the consumption of alcohol, and can’t be reproduced in the body any other way. Since it is not the ethanol itself that the urine test is detecting, but rather a byproduct of it, this test can be used to detect alcohol consumption much later than traditional tests. Granted, a urine alcohol test is not a roadside convenience; in cases where the driver is subject to zero tolerance or an abstinence order, a urine alcohol test may be just the ticket.
For individuals subject to this type of scrutiny, the last thing you want to worry about is what you had to drink with dinner three days ago. Knowing your rights is only half the battle. Knowing what may be waiting for you after you’ve been stopped is the other.