Legal Blood Alcohol Testing - Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) Testing
Simple and Easy to Collect
The most accurate blood test to determine alcohol abuse for family courts, fitness to practice, clinical studies and treatment centers.
- Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) Testing provides a detection of alcohol abuse with 99% sensitivity (far higher than traditional blood testing methods)
- A blood spot/micro sample can be collected by finger prick making it less invasive than a full venipuncture (needle and vial collection)
- PEth testing is not affected by medications, illnesses, previous drinking habits, age or the health of the donor
- The result provides a detection period of up to 4 weeks
- Ideally combined with hair or nail EtG testing to construct an extended overview of the consumption pattern.
For even more information, read our alcohol testing guide
Period of Detection
The period of detection for PEth testing is up to 4 weeks. However, the greater the exposure (larger the binge session), the longer the period of detection.
What the Results Show
A negative PEth results is a reading under 10 µg/L – indicative of abstinence or extremely infrequent consumption.
A reading greater than 210 µg/L is indicative of excessive consumption – with additional cut-offs in between these points further classifying the pattern of consumption.
Blood alcohol test detection periods
Alcohol testing a blood sample provides an approximate four weeks of consumption. If the client needs to be tested for a longer period, a hair alcohol test can cover up to 6 months of consumption.
It is important that blood testing for alcohol is combined with hair testing to produce the most accurate result, and to avoid false positives. Hair tests can be affected by numerous factors such as cosmetic treatments, hair types and other variables.
Fingernail testing can also provide up to 3-6 months history of alcohol consumption. Toenails can be tested with a 6-12 months detection window for alcohol consumption.
What is excessive alcohol abuse
A blood alcohol test can accurately determine excessive alcohol abuse; this may be required for a number of reasons, such as for family courts.
It can be difficult to clarify what is excessive alcohol abuse, as individuals are affected by alcohol differently. However, UK courts define excessive as consuming over 7.5 units per day (equivalent to ¾ of a bottle of wine) over a period of 3 months. This level of alcohol is said to result in an elevated risk of an individual causing harm to themselves and others.
The NHS recommend men should not regularly exceed 14 units a week, this would equal to around 7 pints at an abV of 3.6%.