You may be aware of drug and alcohol test services and how you may be required to provide a sample to be testing for legal issues, job recruitment, sports participation, or medical reasons. The results from these tests are often extremely accurate and is the best way to detect the presence of alcohol. The result can also provide a fair idea regarding the time of consumption and level of complication with alcohol use. This article will provide a brief guide on how to read the drug and alcohol result, as well as factors that can tamper with results.


How Do You Read The Results?


If you are going through the process of any drug and alcohol testing, it is important that you are aware of the result ranges. For example, here are the following values that can indicate the result of the test:

  • 0 – means the person hasn’t consumed alcohol and is healthy
  • .08 – the presence of alcohol is at a permissible level and the person is legally intoxicated
  • .08-.40 – indication that the person may have difficulty walking or speaking
  • Over .40 – the person is at serious risk and/or unconscious

The unit in which the concentration of alcohol is measured in the body is mg/100ml but represented in decimal values.

Factors Tampering With Results


Like every test, there is always the risk of a false result. You should be prepared to understand why this may happen. With drug and alcohol tests, there are certain factors that can tamper with the results and lead to a false-positive or negative. It is always best to contact your doctor or any medical professional if you have concerns that your test is showing inaccurate results. Here are some factors that can impact this:


Metabolic Rate


If the person undergoing the test has a fast metabolism, the alcohol may be eliminated from their body after a short interval. Therefore, there is a chance that the test is taken after the alcohol has been absorbed and eliminated from the body, or perhaps at a very minimum level.


Sample Type


The concentration of alcohol also varies by changing the type of sample. For example, the elimination time of alcohol from the blood is around 24 hours (on average), whereas urine contains alcohol residue for days. Similarly, the breath test can give accurate results if the sample is collected and processed between 24 and 48 hours.

Environmental Factors


The surrounding factors also play an integral role in the tampering of alcohol test results. For example, in the case of breath tests, the concentration may vary if there is alcohol present in the air due to fresh paint on the walls. Similarly, urine test results can be changed by diluting the sample with water.




Although alcohol is toxic to human health, it is also used in several medicines as a key ingredient. Homeopathic drops can contain a large percentage of alcohol, therefore if a person is consuming these types of medicines, there is no certain way to check if the presence of alcohol is due to medicine or misuse.


Final Words


It is important to know how to read the drug and alcohol testing results, as well as the factors that can negatively affect the accuracy. It is vital that an accurate result is provided, especially in legal, health, and recruitment scenarios. It is always best to contact a medical professional with any concerns and queries that you may have.