• Testing Your Teenage Driver for Alcohol Use

    If you have a teenager and they are driving, there’s a good chance you are worried they might be drinking and driving without your knowledge. One of the best ways to be sure about this is to test for alcohol use. You might be curious about what’s involved in the testing and how to go about doing it, here are a few things that will help.

    • Always Talk With Your Teen: Before you resort to testing to determine if your child is drinking, have a conversation with them about your concerns. You can gauge whether or not your concerns are valid based on what they say and their interactions with you afterward. This would be a good time to talk about the risks involved and let them know you may test them in the future.
    • Alcohol Detector Test: This is a smaller device that you can ask the teen to breath into much like a breathalyzer. It determines if there is any alcohol present and comes in five BAC levels for varying degrees of sensitivity. To activate it you break the capsule inside and shake well before having the teen breathe into it. Chemical crystals inside will change color to determine if there is any presence of alcohol and you check these results by comparing them with the inserted information sheet.
    • Breathalyzer: This is a device that you ask the person to breath into in order to determine a blood alcohol level. Its user has long been common among police officers. If you think you may test more often than a few times in a month’s time this would be a better option than the alcohol detector test as it only requires new mouth piece covers rather than an entire testing tube.
    • Saliva Screen: These are easy to use tests that can be done without prior preparation much like the breathalyzer and alcohol detector tests. You ask the teen to touch the test pad to their saliva for 10 seconds and then wait four minutes for the results to come through. Never take the results of saliva alcohol test after 5 minutes as the testing pad will have fully developed by then and become inaccurate.
    • Q.E.D. Saliva Test: This test also uses saliva to get its results but is designed to be used by a professional tester. The administrator has the teen run the swab along the inside of the mouth between the cheek and teeth for about 60 seconds at which point it should be fully saturated with saliva. After the teen has handed the swap over the tester then inserts it into the applicator. The saliva travels up the capillary of the device and activates a QA spot. If the line turns purple in the main section of the capillary alcohol is present in the system of the teen. Saliva alcohol test should only require two minutes to get results.
    • ETG Testing: This form of testing detects alcohol use within 3 ½ days (80 hours) of when the urine sample is taken. It’s considered the most scientifically accurate urine test and is often implemented by government agencies and police officers at a traffic accident. If you feel that you may need to consistently maintain a urine testing procedure EtG alcohol testing is the best method to use. Be aware that it will require a wait as it must be lab tested however.
    • Blood Test: This type of test tests the alcohol level in either the whole blood or a blood serum. It requires lab testing and drawing which is far more invasive than any other form of testing and is best left alone since other methods are often just as accurate without the time and stress involved.
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    Categories: Alcohol & Alcohol Testing

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