Blood And Alcohol Testing For Solicitors: A Complete Guide

The parent’s rights to visitation or custody of the child are frequently at issue in care proceedings. As such, the court regularly orders drug or alcohol testing in care proceedings. If the court thinks substance abuse has interfered with a party’s life, it may require drug and alcohol testing. These results often influence a parent’s right to visitation or custody.

Most of the time, clients and solicitors get tested for drugs and alcohol in testing facilities such as Lextox Testing to present evidence of the clients’ sobriety in court. So what’s the process for blood and alcohol testing in these cases?

Techniques For Detecting Alcohol Use

A testing facility often analyses alcohol usage history with blood, hair or urine samples. Here are ways how facilities detect alcohol or drug usage with these samples:

Hair Test

Alcohol intake leaves telltale signs in the hair. These signs include fatty acid ethyl ester (FAEE) ethyl palmitate and ethyl glucuronide (EtG). Combining EtG and FAEE tests allows testers to determine how long-term alcohol use can affect your health adversely. Simultaneously, hair analysis can tell how much alcohol the individual drank three to six months before the test.

Blood Test

A blood test can also determine if someone has used alcohol or narcotics recently, usually within the last few hours. Due to its high cost, blood testing sees little use. The medical technician draws blood from the patient’s arm or the tip of their finger. They then send the sample to the lab for analysis.

Urine Test

Urine testing measures ethanol in the urine. If the donor consumed alcohol in the previous 24 hours, the test would show a positive result.

Fermentation tests are performed afterwards on all positive samples. This test rules out the possibility of samples contaminated with alcohol or another substance and rules out a medical cause for the positive result.

Drug And Alcohol Testing For Solicitors

A positive or negative drug test record can be the deciding factor in a family law matter. Specially designed drug testing procedures can find alcohol, illegal drugs and even some legal medications. Because of this, regulatory agencies sometimes require drug and alcohol tests before making important decisions.

In family law, children’s law and child protection cases, solicitors use blood and alcohol tests to determine if parents have been using drugs for months. A blood and alcohol test can give vital evidence for making informed judgments in various situations, including residence and contact settlements, adoption and guardianship and social services participation.

How Does A Blood Or Alcohol Test Work?

Solicitors’ offices are the typical sites for collecting samples for analysis. These meetings can occur at a contact centre or a client’s home. An experienced nurse or other certified professionals must take the sample.

The nurse or certified professional usually takes a hair sample from the nape of your neck. But arm and leg hair, fingernails and urine could be used instead of head hair if head hair isn’t available or if you meet certain circumstances.

Though hair on different body parts grows at varying rates, the average growth rate for head hair is about 1 centimetre each month. This means that, depending on the hair sample length, the testing facility can establish drug use over a specific period. Hair analysis can reveal a person’s drug and alcohol use for the past year. 

Blood Analysis Results

Analysis of Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) is part of the haematology report (whole blood count). The facility can gauge the amount of alcohol a person has consumed by measuring the size of their red blood cells. Consistent and excessive alcohol consumption causes these cells to swell to abnormal proportions. Consequently, a high haematocrit level may be indicative of chronic alcohol abuse.

Biology Lab Report

Liver function testing (LFT) and carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) testing are part of the biochemistry analysis. The LFT checks the levels of liver enzymes in the blood. 

If a marker level is outside the normal range, it could affect how well the liver works. A high transferrin concentration (CDT) may indicate alcoholism in people who don’t consume carbs. When chronic heavy drinking is the root cause of abnormal LFTs, the CDT research looks at a period of about two weeks.

Consent

Solicitors and testing facilities must get the client’s permission before any testing occurs. Unless compelled by a court of law, third-party consent must be in place to meet GDPR standards while working with a private client. As a result, the testing laboratory must let its clients sign a third-party consent form. If laboratories have this information, they can talk to licensed solicitors about the next drug or alcohol test.

Conclusion

Drug testing could play a significant part in any legal case involving parental rights, child custody or domestic violence. If your client is willing to get tested for drugs, you should also be aware of the likelihood of drug use by anyone living in the same house as your client. The more prepared you are, the better your client’s chances of winning their case.