“I use AlphaBiolabs every time for my client’s legal alcohol testing. That way I know my results are correct”
David Brown, Family Law Solicitor

Legal alcohol testing services

AlphaBiolabs offers you and your clients the most comprehensive legal alcohol testing on the market today. Not only are we the most competitively priced with our Price Match Promise but we have a UK-wide network of sample collectors available.

Our alcohol testing methods include:

  • 3- or 6-month head hair testing (FAEE; EtPa & EtG)
  • Body hair (EtG)
  • Liver function blood test (LFT)
  • Carbohydrate deficient transferrin (CDT) blood analysis
  • Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) blood test
  • Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) blood test
  • Nail alcohol testing (EtG)
  • Instant breath analysis
  • SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring®

We also offer a Comprehensive Alcohol Analysis Package, which combines head hair testing with blood tests and includes an Expert Report and sample collection. This comprehensive package provides the best insight into an individual’s level of alcohol consumption.

We understand alcohol testing

Our team of scientists have implemented a system that indicates or rules out chronic excessive alcohol consumption. Once a history of alcohol abuse is established then a treatment programme can be developed with periodic monitoring.

There is a range of information to assist solicitors and individuals in establishing whether their case is eligible for legal aid funding and this can be accessed at the following website (legal aid checker). We recommend you use this as a starting point before embarking on the complex process of applying for legal aid for your alcohol test application.

Legal alcohol testing for legal professionals, local authorities and members of the public for use in UK courts

Accredited legal alcohol testing

AlphaBiolabs specialises in alcohol testing. We have worked with solicitors and local authorities for 15 years. Our legal alcohol testing is recognised and admissible to UK courts.

We go to great lengths to ensure that our alcohol testing processes are the best available, which is why you can be sure if you take a legal alcohol test with AlphaBiolabs you will get the fastest, most accurate testing available.

Our testing laboratory is accredited by UKAS (No. 2773).

Our alcohol testing options include:

Head hair alcohol testing

Testing for alcohol in hair works by looking at two metabolites of alcohol: ethyl glucuronide (EtG) and the fatty acid ethyl ester (FAEE); ethyl palmitate (EtPa). These markers of alcohol intake are incorporated into the hair via different routes: EtG via sweat and EtPa via sebum (an oily substance secreted by glands in the skin). Unlike drug testing where the metabolites are absorbed through the root of the hair, when a client consumes alcohol the markers are found along the entire length of the hair. Therefore, it is not possible to segment the hair.

For example, if your client’s hair is tested for a 6-month period, and has not drunk alcohol for 5 months and then in 1 month drinks an excessive amount of alcohol, the alcohol markers will be found throughout the entire length of the hair.

The recommended minimum length of hair for EtG and EtPa tests is a 3 cm section taken from nearest the scalp. This is consistent with the consensus on hair alcohol testing for chronic excessive alcohol consumption published by the Society of Hair Testing (SoHT) in June 2019. Biomarker testing in hair can establish a person’s history of alcohol consumption for 3 or 6 months.

Performing both EtG and EtPa analyses can assist in building evidence to support the diagnosis of chronic excessive alcohol consumption with a greater degree of certainty. We would also recommend a blood test to detect alcohol biomarkers, in conjunction with clinical assessment, to gain a greater insight into an individual’s alcohol use.

Learn More

We provide the fastest, most cost-effective legal alcohol testing in the UK

Body hair alcohol testing

If insufficient head hair is available, some types of body hair can also be analysed for alcohol testing. EtG analysis can be performed on hair samples collected from the chest, arm, leg and beard.

The timeframe for body hair alcohol testing is more approximate due to the nature of this hair growth.

The window of detection is up to a 12-month overview.

Liver function test (LFT)

Alcohol can be toxic to the liver. A person who consumes excessive amounts of alcohol will damage their liver and may experience decreased liver function. A liver function test (LFT) measures various enzymes in the blood that are produced by the liver. An abnormal result indicates a problem with the liver. For example, an elevated aspartate aminotransferase (AST) value is a biochemical indicator of possible alcohol abuse.

We test a panel of five markers including total bilirubin, AST, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) to ensure the result is as accurate as possible.

Our Price Promise: we will beat any like-for-like quote by a further 10%

Carbohydrate deficient transferrin (CDT) analysis

Carbohydrate deficient transferrin (CDT) is a widely recognised specific biomarker of chronic alcohol consumption.

In cases where the sample donor is excessively using alcohol, an elevated CDT reading is usually seen. In conjunction with an elevated LFT and EtG/FAEE reading, this strongly suggests that the sample donor is chronically and excessively using alcohol.

Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) test

Red blood cells are measured in the mean corpuscular volume (MCV) test. An MCV marker higher than normal would indicate an enlarged blood cell, which could indicate ingested alcohol. Elevated MCV is common in alcoholics. This change results directly from the effect of alcohol on red blood cell development and persists as long as drinking continues.

MCV is not a liver enzyme and is influenced by different factors to LFT and CDT. MCV will not always be raised by excessive alcohol use and some unrelated conditions can result in higher MCV levels. For example, the test is less specific for alcohol abuse in patients with conditions that can influence the size of red blood cells, such as vitamin deficiencies, liver disease, underactive thyroid disease and smoking.

As a stand-alone alcohol abuse indicator MCV has somewhat low sensitivity. However, when combined with the other blood markers it becomes a good indicator for excessive drinking.

Chronic and excessive alcohol drinking can be determined

Finger prick PEth Alcohol Test

Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) is a direct biomarker of alcohol, meaning that it requires ethanol (the intoxicating agent in alcoholic drinks) for its production, and can only be detected when alcohol has been consumed.

This makes PEth testing the most accurate of the blood alcohol tests.

It can be used to detect chronic and single-drinking episodes, monitor abstinence, drinking behaviour and relapse, and to verify whether an individual has changed their pattern of alcohol consumption.

It is also the only blood alcohol test that can be performed during pregnancy or within two months of birth.

An AlphaBiolabs PEth test simply requires a few drops of blood, collected using a finger prick device. This quick, virtually pain-free method of blood sample collection is ideal for Sample Donors who are needle phobic or have poor vein access.

Comprehensive Alcohol Analysis Package

The Comprehensive Alcohol Analysis Package provides the best insight into an individual’s level of alcohol consumption.

Our Comprehensive Alcohol Analysis Package combines head hair alcohol testing (EtG and EtPa) with blood alcohol tests (PEth, CDT, LFT and MCV) for the most conclusive insight into an individual’s drinking habits and includes an Expert Report and sample collection.

Our laboratory processes are accredited

Nail alcohol testing

Like hair, nails are made from keratin, which is a fibrous protein. As the nail grows, substances can pass from the blood vessels below the nail into the keratin fibres where they become trapped. Biomarkers from alcohol can thus be detected in the nails.

Our nail alcohol testing analyses samples for the EtG marker. These EtG biomarkers become trapped within the keratin fibres along the length of the nail providing an overview of up to 12 months.

Learn More

Breath alcohol testing

The person being tested for alcohol use blows into a breath alcohol device, and the results are given as a digital readout. The readout is a number, known as the breath alcohol concentration (BAC), which shows the level of alcohol in the breath at the time the test was taken. It does not measure historical use of alcohol.

AlphaBiolabs can provide a number of devices for breath alcohol testing dependent on your individual needs. You can view our full range of breathalysers here.

Expert witness service available

SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring®

SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring® (SCRAM CAM®) is an innovative way of testing a participant’s alcohol consumption over a defined period of time. The tamper-proof SCRAM CAM® bracelet is worn on the ankle from 1 day up to as many months as needed. Because of its transdermal method of detection (through the skin) every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, the non-invasive bracelet provides a comprehensive profile of a participant’s drinking activities throughout the entire day and night.

Learn More

Free UK sample collection

AlphaBiolabs has a full UK network of qualified sample collectors who are able to take your client’s legally admissible DNA, drug and alcohol samples. Use any of our 19 UK and Ireland Walk in Centres for FREE sample collection.

Find our Centres Here

Receive your instant quote here

Get a Quote

Very impressed

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Very impressed with the speed of the report turnaround. This is key in childcare cases that we deal with. Your Walk in Centres are an excellent way to guarantee minimal delay.

Amy Bellingham
Family Law Solicitor, Elliot Bridgman Solicitors

Exceptionally high quality

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I am very impressed with the exceptionally high quality, service and speed. I will be using your company in all future referrals. Great to have found this service.

Helen Sangster
Family Solicitor, Yaffe Jackson Ostrin Solicitors

Excellent service

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent service and all round very user friendly.

Colm McLaughlin
Solicitor, Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors

Very quick

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent turnaround times, very quick with the results.

Christophrey Miles
Solicitor, Crombie Wilkinsin Solicitors