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Can You Pass an EtG Test in 24 Hours: get answers and support at Catalina in Arizona

Can You Pass an EtG Test in 24 Hours?

by Isabella Coronel
Published: Last Updated on

Understanding the Nature of Alcohol Testing and Treatment

You have 24 hours left before you’re scheduled to take an EtG test. Maybe it’s for a job – or it could be related to participating in a driver’s program. You’ve had a few drinks at some point in the last 24 to 36 hours, and it’s imperative that you pass this EtG test.

Regardless of the reason you’ve been ordered to take the EtG test, the fact is, that you consumed alcohol when you should’ve been practicing alcohol abstinence. In this article, Catalina Behavioral Health will provide some tips to help you potentially avoid a positive and pass an EtG test, as well as provide factors and answers to the question: can you pass an EtG test in 24 hours?

However – it’s worth noting that if you’re pushing the boundaries of drinking restrictions – you should consider whether solely passing an EtG test is your problem. If you’d like more firm support in staying sober, the programs at Catalina can be a life-changing experience.

Catalina Behavioral Health can help you identify these needs and put you on the fast track to treatment that will assist in eliminating the need to drink alcohol.

First, let’s take a closer look at exactly what an EtG test is, and then we’ll look more closely at the realities and factors involved in the question: is it possible to pass an EtG test in 24 hours?

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What is an EtG Test?

An EtG test, otherwise known as the Ethyl Glucuronide Test, is an extremely accurate form of drug testing used to prove whether an individual has alcohol in their system. However, you can’t just pass one of these tests after you’ve “sobered up.”

They’re specifically designed to test for the presence of alcohol even after the side effects of intoxication have dissipated.

That said, certain situations do exist that might require the need for a positive EtG test result in a short time without the presence of alcohol addiction.

However, if you’re pushing the limits for things like probation, a continuous rehab program, or something similar – you might need some form of treatment to address the underlying issue of alcohol dependency.

What are the Most Common Reasons for EtG Testing?

Several occasions call for the use of an EtG test. You might find yourself on the receiving end of these screenings for any of the following reasons:

  • Court ordered. The judge might have ordered random tests as a part of your probationary period. Generally, these take place during your regular visits with your probation officer to confirm alcohol abstinence.
  • Substance abuse programs. Many outpatient programs for alcohol use test clients who attend from home to ensure they’re not breaking the rules of recovery.
  • Employment. If you’re applying for a certain job that bans the consumption of alcohol for a certain period before work hours, or as a hiring stipulation, you’ll likely be subject to an EtG.

How Do EtG Tests Work?

How Do EtG Tests Work

When you drink, alcohol metabolites are left over as your body processes all the alcohol out. These metabolites, known as Ethyl Glucuronide, are identified through the mechanisms of the test. There is a heavy preference for using the EtG test, primarily because it detects the presence of Ethyl Glucuronide for up to 80 hours after your last drink.

This number is subject to fluctuation, as the exact length of time is dictated by several factors, including your age, weight, the amount of alcohol consumed, and the speed of your metabolism. Your level of body fat and how hydrated your body is also play a significant role.

If you’ve hydrated your body, your metabolism works faster, speeding up the elimination of the EtG metabolite.

Preparing for an EtG Test

The best way to pass an EtG urine alcohol test is to completely avoid drinking alcoholic beverages altogether. Ultimately, only the body dictates the length of time it needs to dispel the alcohol from your blood.

There is no concrete method to use that guarantees the safe elimination of the EtG metabolite from the body and a negative EtG test result – especially within 24 hours.

However, if you do find yourself in a jam for whatever reason, the following list may assist you.

Hydrate Yourself

In the 24 hours leading up to the EtG test, drink plenty of water to flush your system. However, if you overdo the water consumption, you also run the risk of submitting a diluted urine sample. Dilution alone can affect EtG test results, as levels of creatinine in urine samples may be too low, and, while a sample may not test positive for alcohol use, they can show up inconclusive due to dilution.

In some jurisdictions, this is considered a failed test.

Healthy Diet Options

Eat a healthy balanced meal before the test. Certain vitamins and minerals can help to detox your system before testing.


Take a brisk walk or run before your test. If you have access to a sauna, this can be one of the most effective methods as it speeds up the alcohol detox process.

What to Expect On the Day of Testing

Man Providing Alcohol test to answer: Can You Pass an EtG Test in 24 Hours

When you walk in to take your test you’ll be greeted by the collector. You’ll be given a plastic specimen cup and escorted to the restroom to give your sample. Be sure to fill the cup to the specified line – otherwise, the lab may not be able to give an accurate reading. This can lead to a failed test or positive result and warrant a retake.

Avoid alcohol prior to testing on the same day, and stop consuming alcohol as long in advance as possible to minimize the chances of testing positive.

The lab will test the sample and send the results back to the individual who ordered the test. They’ll have paperwork indicating all the levels tested, along with information to help them interpret the results.

Understanding the Scoring Guide

Your results of the EtG tests have three designations they fall under. EtG test work results ultimately highlight the levels of the metabolites that exist per every ML of urine.

The following three categories will indicate the results:

  • Less than 500. A test under 500 means anywhere from no consumption to light drinking – or even environmental exposure to alcohol. At this level, you’re safe.
  • 500-1,000. This level indicates that a moderate amount of drinking has taken place – generally anywhere from 1 to 3 drinks.
  • 1,000-plus. If you test for a score over 1,000, this indicates that you’ve likely been engaging in heavy drinking.

Accuracy and Reliability of EtG Tests

When someone takes testing of any kind to detect the presence of alcohol or drugs, there’s always the question of accuracy. While these blood tests aren’t 100% accurate, they have gained preference for their reliability.

The accuracy rate is somewhere between 98.99 and 99.99%. That said, false positives can trigger the test which you should be aware of. Be mindful of the following:

  • Certain environmental factors can trigger a false positive. Things like hand sanitizers, food, cosmetics, and cleaning products could warrant a positive at the lab.
  • If you’re dehydrated, the test can detect alcohol consumption further back. This could be an issue for tests that only require you to be sober for 24 hours prior.
  • Conditions like diabetes and liver disease can also impact the results of the test.

There are some best-practice tips to follow to help avoid these situations:

  • If you know you have a test coming up, avoid exposure to the items mentioned above at all costs.
  • Be aware of the last time you had your last drink and incorporate lots of water into your diet.
  • Write down the last of your last drink and be truthful regarding your consumption before your EtG alcohol test. If you tell the person administering the test it’s been 48 hours since your last drink and you’re borderline (around 500-600), and remember to tell them prior it had been 48 hours, this may garner some compassion from the tester and warrant a retest or a passing result.

Understanding the Metabolic Process: Can You Pass an EtG Test in 24 Hours?

Man Drinking Alcohol

If you’re concerned about an EtG test because of alcohol consumption, you need to be aware of the blood alcohol concentration and how the metabolism of alcohol works.

You have the background regarding alcohol testing measures – the following section is a guideline on the specifics of alcohol ingestion and the detox process for alcohol.

Drink Sizes vs Metabolism

As a general rule, your body will metabolize alcohol, and takes one hour to eliminate one drink from your system. Stay mindful that as your alcohol consumption continues in succession and in heavier amounts, this compounds over time.

One alcoholic drink is typically 14 grams of pure alcohol, contained in the following:

  • A 12 oz. beer
  • A 5 oz. glass of wine
  • 1.5 oz. of liquor

Detection Windows and Passing an EtG Test Successfully

If you are consuming alcohol and want to pass an ETG test, the detection windows aren’t uniform regarding various methods of testing. Your body metabolizes alcohol, the timeline is different regarding expulsion from the blood, urine, and hair.

If you’re drinking alcohol on a fairly regular basis, the following windows apply to the methods mentioned:

  • Blood. test. 0-24 Hours
  • Urine test (Traditional). 12-48 Hours
  • Breathe test. 0-24 Hours
  • Hair test. 0-90 days
  • EtG Test. 0-4 days

Again, keep in mind that traditional blood, urine, and breath tests simply detect the presence of alcohol. The EtG test takes samples for the presence of the metabolites produced by the alcohol. Just because you feel sober doesn’t mean you won’t fail.

Get Immediate Help for Alcohol Detox at Catalina!

Alcohol Detox and Treatment Options at Catalina

If you feel like drinking alcohol is becoming an issue, and impacting your personal and professional life, there are always resources for help. Is your alcohol consumption commonly causing positive test results? Or maybe your alcohol consumption causes stress regarding the constant need to pass at the last minute.

If you’re in a position where you regularly take an EtG alcohol test, finding workarounds to pass them should be your last priority.

Your main goal should be cutting your alcohol consumption and allowing yourself to pass an EtG alcohol test in the most natural way possible: eliminate alcohol from your regimen, period. At Catalina Behavioral Health, we have multiple programs and therapeutic modalities to help those dealing with issues related to alcohol consumption. The following is a light preview of what’s available to you:

Inpatient Rehab Programs for Alcohol

Inpatient treatment is available for those who are willing to commit to a stay of up to 90 days at our facility. The least amount of time is 30 days – with additional step-down or segue programs available afterward. Inpatient may also consist of medical detox, which we strongly recommend if your consumption is particularly heavy.

During a stay at our residential facility, you’ll participate in one-on-ones with your personal counselor, group therapy with your peers, as well as family counseling if you choose to take advantage of this offering. You’ll also be served healthy foods conducive to recovery and physical repair, in addition to holistic options that treat the mind, body, and soul.

Outpatient Services

Outpatient Services

Is your alcohol consumption not as severe? Are you a light-to-moderate social drinker who is afraid that one day your condition may spiral out of control? Or maybe you’ve completed inpatient services and want to reinforce what you’ve learned during your time. If any of these describe your situation, outpatient treatment may be your best bet.

You’ll have access to similar treatment and therapeutic options as an inpatient, only with less intensity and at a rate of about 4-6 hours weekly. You’ll return home daily with no need to take up residency in our facility. If you require something a little more intense without stepping into full inpatient, we have other resources available.

Intensive Outpatient and Partial Hospitalization Programs

Intensive outpatient is an extension of regular outpatient – with an increase to about 10 hours of treatment per week. Partial Hospitalization Programs provide the same intensity as inpatient – with the exclusion of room and board, as you’ll return home each night to handle outside obligations such as family or work.

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Stop Trying to Pass an EtG Test, and Pass Your EtG Test: Get Help from Catalina Today

Stop trying to take shortcuts and eliminate the stress of failed tests in your life. Do your mind, body, and loved ones a favor and find recovery for your alcohol consumption. Whether your issue is minor moderate or severe or life-threatening – we help clients in all conditions.

For more information on how we can help you achieve your recovery goals, contact a member of our admissions team today.

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