- Last Update On : 2013-10-06
When alcohol is ingested, it is absorbed directly from the proximal small intestine and distributed throughout the entire fluid space of the body. After equilibrium is reached, alcohol will be found in all tissues of the body in proportion to their water content. Urine is the most practical specimen for alcohol testing in the workplace, when the purpose of testing is to demonstrate that alcohol consumption has occurred. Peak urine alcohol levels are reached 45 to 60 minutes after alcohol ingestion. At this time, urine alcohol levels are typically about 1.3 times greater than the corresponding blood alcohol concentration. This ratio is only valid during the elimination phase, which occurs after the blood alcohol level has peaked and is decreasing. Alcohol may be detected in the urine for 1 to 2 hours longer than it is detected in blood.
The presence of alcohol in the urine indicates recent prior use, but may not correlate with the degree of intoxication observed at the time t