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Legal alcohol testing


  • A history of alcohol consumption can be established
  • Chronic and excessive alcohol drinking can be determined
  • Results in 3 working days
  • Our laboratory processes are accredited
  • Hair, blood and nail samples tested
  • Continuous alcohol monitoring also available
  • Expert witness service available
  • Our Price Match Promise means we will not be beaten on price

“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 for legal professionals, local authorities and members of the public for use in UK courts

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

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.

AlphaBiolabs determines alcohol levels by detecting two metabolites of alcohol: ethyl glucuronide (EtG) and fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs). These markers of alcohol intake are incorporated into the hair via different routes: EtG via sweat and FAEEs via sebum (an oily substance secreted by glands in the skin).

Performing two different types of hair analysis 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.

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The recommended minimum length of hair for EtG and FAEE 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 2009.

We understand alcohol testing

Biomarker testing in hair can establish a person’s history of alcohol consumption for 3 or 6 months.

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.

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).

approved immigration testing

Alcohol Testing Methods

Hair alcohol testing

Testing for alcohol in hair works by looking at EtG and FAEE markers. These alcohol markers are absorbed into the hair via sweat and sebum. 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.

Please note: It is possible that the FAEE / EtG results may be inconclusive. We always recommend that a blood sample should be taken to complement the FAEE / EtG test.

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.

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.

Free UK sample collection

AlphaBiolabs has a full UK network of qualified sample collectors who are able to take your clients legally admissible DNA, drug and alcohol samples.

Use any of our 10 nationwide Walk in Centres for FREE sample collection.

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 which is 100% less hassle than other companies. Helen Sangster

Family Solicitor, Yaffe Jackson Ostrin Solicitors

Excellent service and all round very user friendly. Colm McLaughlin

Solicitor, Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors

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

Excellent turnaround times, arrived very quickly with the results. Christopher Miles

Solicitor, Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors