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Urine Tests Produce Too Many False Positives

Dayton DUI Attorney Charles Rowland > DUI Law  > DUI Process  > Urine Tests Produce Too Many False Positives

Urine Tests Produce Too Many False Positives

IMG_2407 - Urine

The EtG test is a biomarker test that detects the presence of ethyl glucuronide in urine samples. Usually, it is used to monitor alcohol consumption in individuals who are legally prohibited from drinking alcohol by the justice system or restricted from drinking by their employers. (Source)  The EtG urine alcohol test has come under criticism because it is so sensitive that “it can give positive results for merely coming in contact with common household products that contain alcohol, such as aftershave and mouthwash.” The Role of Biomarkers in the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorders (PDF), September 2006, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration issued an advisory in 2006 that the EtG test should not be used as the sole basis for taking any legal action against someone who has a positive result, cautioning that the test is “scientifically unsupportable as the sole basis for legal or disciplinary action” because the highly-sensitive tests “are not able to distinguish between alcohol absorbed into the body from exposure to many common commercial and household products containing alcohol or from the actual consumption of alcohol.”  Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. The Role of Biomarkers in the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorders. Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory. Volume 5, Issue 4, 2006

Worse yet is the duration of sensitivity.  The biomarker test detects ethyl glucuronide in urine samples and can detect alcohol several days after the last drink.   The EtG test came under scrutiny when a significant number of people, who insisted they had abstained from drinking alcohol, failed the test. SAMHSA used many of those protested cases to research the accuracy of the EtG test and determine the cause of the false positives.  The manufacturer of the test, Redwoood Toxicology Laboratory, is facing at least one lawsuit claiming its test is “inherently faulty.” The lawsuit claims that Redwood does not inform its customers — law enforcement, probation offices, and employers — that the test will return positive results for coming in contact with household products that contain alcohol.

Dayton DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook, www.facebook.com/daytondui.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@CharlesRowland.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

Charles Rowland


Charles M. Rowland II has been representing the accused drunk driver for over 20 years. Contact him at (937) 318-1384 if you find yourself facing a DUI (now called OVI) charge.

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