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Information on an Alcohol Swab Drug Test

28 March, 2022

An alcohol swab drug test uses oral fluid to detect the presence of drugs and alcohol. Companies and business owners use these tests because they can be quickly and easily administered. An alcohol swab drug test collects oral fluid from inside the employee’s mouth. The sample is then sent to an accredited testing facility. Despite being easily accessible in the market, companies nowadays typically prefer using breathalysers rather than swab tests. Undoubtedly, it is highly important for companies to use certified test kits or devices when providing workplace testing. 

How Do Alcohol Swab Drug Tests Work?

Alcohol swab drug tests detect drug use and alcohol consumption within a specific detection window. Testing oral fluids can detect recent alcohol and drug consumption. Companies commonly use swab tests because they are cost-effective and cheaper than other drug and alcohol testing methods. Oral fluid can be collected and tested quickly and easily. A swab test is a straightforward and non-invasive type of drug and alcohol screening. Additionally, testing services can also perform swab tests on-site (within the workplace), making it a more efficient option for companies. Furthermore, this option can take away the hassle for employees of needing to go to a testing facility to get tested.

An alcohol swab drug test can detect several substances from an employee’s saliva. Most business owners only check specific substances like alcohol and common drugs. Swab tests can typically detect recent drug or alcohol consumption from 1 to 2 days after use. Detection timeframes will differ for each substance type, how it is frequently used, and the amount of substance used.

Alternative Alcohol Testing

Having an accurate and effective alternative to an alcohol swab drug test can be an excellent investment. Breathalysers can provide access to a quick and easy alcohol testing methods in the workplace. Furthermore, these devices can help companies and business owners effectively maintain workplace safety. The breathalysers from Breathalysers New Zealand feature one-button operations. You can conduct a breath test with just a press of a button. It only takes about 15 seconds for the device to warm up its sensors and begin testing. Once you provide a breath sample, the device can instantly process and show the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) results.

For companies that prefer breath tests over an alcohol swab drug test, they can use the workplace devices from Breathalysers New Zealand. These BACtrack devices use highly accurate fuel cell sensors. These are the same sensors law enforcement officers use for breath testing in roadside screenings. Companies looking to perform constant alcohol tests for workplace safety can benefit from having a workplace breathalyser ready. The BACtrack S80 Pro Gen2 and other workplace breathalyser models can provide highly accurate and constant BAC readings. Additionally, these highly effective workplace breathalysers have:

  • Efficient breath capture systems (preventing external factors from effecting results
  • Interchangeable mouthpieces (for hygiene)
  • Reduced chances for false-positive results
  • Long-lasting sensors that only need recalibration once every 6 to 12 months (depending on usage)

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Are Alcohol Swab Drug Tests Required?

Most business owners would conduct an alcohol swab drug test or a breath test with a breathalyser from Breathalysers New Zealand as part of their workplace policy. Most companies that require drug and alcohol screenings have an established workplace drug and alcohol testing policy that defines how and when staff may undergo drug and alcohol testing. Nowadays, all industries practice a zero-alcohol tolerance policy. These industries would require employees to have regular tests. However, workplace alcohol and drug testing policies may be different from State to State. Some States have limitations regarding conducting alcohol and drug screening.

Alcohol Swab Drug Tests: When are they commonly done?

Companies typically conduct alcohol swab drug tests for pre-employment screening. The company requires Pre-employment testing to aspiring applicants before offering them a job. Oral fluid drug and alcohol tests can be done before a company fully hires you for a position. The offer may be denied if your test results are positive. Some businesses also do random alcohol and drug tests, that randomly selects the staff to ensure fairness. This type of test is called random testing, and it is done to identify employees that may endanger the workplace.

Employers may also include “for-cause” drug and alcohol testing on the workplace testing policy. If a supervisor thinks a staff may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they can require the worker to undergo an alcohol swab drug test. Some companies also conduct post-accidents or incident workplace testing. These tests detect substances more quickly than other testing methods, but others tests can detect substances with a longer detection timeframe. For example, an alcohol breath test through a breathalyser from Breathalysers New Zealand can detect alcohol consumption for about 12 to 24 hours after intake. While hair follicle tests can detect alcohol and drug usage for up to 90 days. 

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Drug and Alcohol Testing

You cannot force employees or aspiring applicants to take an alcohol swab drug test and consent is required by law. However, there may be repercussions for refusing to undergo testing. Refusing to undergo a pre-employment drug or alcohol test can result in the revocation of a job offer in some workplace policies. If you do not undergo drug or alcohol testing while currently employed, the management can also dismiss or suspend you from the job depending on the company’s workplace policy. 

If you take an alcohol swab drug test but believe the results are incorrect, you can also have the sample tested again according to most company policies. Ensure that you check and ask for information on how you can request to take another test. The workplace testing policy is clear and outlines the terms, repercussions and instructions regarding alcohol and drug testing procedures. Employers can use the highly accurate workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers New Zealand to ensure that they are providing reliable alcohol tests. 

Benefits of Alcohol Swab Drug Tests over other tests:

  • Quicker testing process
  • Non-invasive testing
  • Highly cost-effective
  • Fewer chances of sample tampering. 

Swab Test Conclusion

While alcohol swab drug tests have various benefits, they also have certain limitations to keep in mind. The detection window for swab tests is typically shorter than other testing methods. Furthermore, if the person is taking medication, this may affect the sample provided and lead to inaccurate results (false-positives). Oral fluid testing cannot detect some substances, leading to a loss of testing opportunities.

An alcohol swab drug test can be an effective and quick drug and alcohol testing method. The swab testing process is more straightforward, with low error rates. Swab testing also requires minimal preparation. The only requirement for these tests is the need to avoid eating and drinking anything 10 mins before the test. The specimen collection time is quick and will only take about 1 to 3 minutes. Performing the test is also easy. Sample collectors can use a sponge or pad to swab the inside of the individual’s cheek. Testers can then analyse the saliva sample on-site or in a laboratory right away. However, for more frequent tests with minimal effort, employers can now use the workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers New Zealand. 

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