EtG Testing

What is EtG Testing?

Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) is a direct metabolite of ethanol. Its presence in urine is used as an indicator that a person has consumed an alcoholic beverage.

Why is EtG Testing used instead of blood or alcohol breath tests?

EtG testing is used as opposed to blood or breath tests because it detects the presence of ethanol biomarkers in an individual’s system long after the alcohol has been metabolized.

The amount of time a breath or blood test can detect a measurable amount of alcohol is dependent upon many factors including the weight and gender of the test subject, the amount of alcohol consumed, and the period of time over which the alcohol was consumed as well as other considerations.

EtG testing is used to detect alcohol consumption after the time that a breath or blood test would be ineffective in measuring a person’s bodily alcohol concentration (BAC). An EtG test may, in some cases, detect the presence of the biomarker for as long as 72 hours after initial consumption.

Can EtG testing determine the amount of alcohol that a person consumed?

Not within any scientifically recognized parameters. As noted above, the amount of ethyl glucuronide in an person’s system is determined by many factors.  EtG testing is designed to detect any consumption, not necessarily the amount of consumption.

How Much Does ETG Testing Cost?

ETG testing costs approximately $25.00 per urine specimen, even when tested on state-of-the-art equipment. The prices vary depending on the location of the ETG Testing.

Incidental Exposure to hygiene products or foods that can cause ETG Testing false positive.

When an individual is ordered to submit to EtG testing, they are typically provided with a list of hygiene products and foods that can skew the results by creating a false positive.

Some of the products to avoid include mouthwash, some OTC medications, colognes and perfumes, insecticides, and hand sanitizers. Some of the foods that should not be ingested are those that include alcohol such as vanilla extract, wine vinegar and many desserts.

A more accurate list of possible sources of incidental exposure that produce a false positive ETG testing result can be found at UATests.com.

Are EtG Testing Results Accurate?

Although the ETG testing results themselves are accurate in the detection of ethanol, proof of consumption of an alcoholic beverage is not always factual. In September of 2006, the United States Department of Health and Human Services issued an advisory bulletin that was predicated on clinical findings that:

  • No laboratory test is 100% accurate and clinical correlation is critically important

  • Studies show some people produce more EtG for a given dose of alcohol than others.

  • Positive EtG testing is not proof of intentional alcoholic beverage consumption since low level positive tests have been shown to occur due to incidental exposure.

  • Some people have a condition whereby they produce ethanol endogenously (“auto brewery syndrome”) that can give rise to a positive test in the absence of intentional consumption.

Can the results of EtG Testing Be Challenged?

EtG tests can be successfully challenged in court. Any individual who is threatened by a bond or probation violation hearing should immediately contact an experienced Michigan DUI defense lawyer who has taken the time to study and understand the complexities and limitations of EtG testing.

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Summary
EtG Testing
Article Name
EtG Testing
Description
EtG testing is used as opposed to blood or breath tests because it detects the presence of ethanol biomarkers in an individual’s system long after the alcohol has been metabolized.
Author
Duke Law Group