Blood Alcohol Test

This UKAS 17025 accredited Blood Alcohol laboratory test is highly accurate and provides a reliable analysis of longer term alcohol intake.

The Blood test includes both a haematology and biochemistry report.

This should be used in combination with a Hair Alcohol Test to construct the most accurate picture of alcohol intake.

The haematology report (Full blood count) includes Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) analysis. This measures the volume of the red blood cells, to indicate a person’s alcohol intake. The usual range for the MCV is 80 – 100FL (femtolitre). Heavy frequent drinking increases the size of these cells to outside of this usual range. The MCV is used in conjunction with the Liver Function Test (LFT) and Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin (CDT) analysis to provide you with an accurate report, see below.

The biochemistry analysis includes the LFT and CDT analysis. The LFT measures various enzymes in the blood that are produced by the liver. Long term alcohol intake causes damage and inflammation of the liver, causing an abnormal result. Markers in the LFT include Total Protein, which should be within the range of 60 – 80g/L (gram per litre), Albumin, which is 35 – 50g/L and Globulin, which has a normal range of 19 – 35 g/L.

Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin (CDT) is widely recognised as a bio-marker of chronic alcohol consumption. CDT occurs due to excessive alcohol use; transferrin is produced in the liver, when a person is drinking at a chronic level, a higher percentage of the transferrin that is produced has a reduced amount of carbohydrates contained within it. In cases where the sample donor is abusing alcohol, you would expect to see an elevated CDT reading.

Example of CDT Interpretation:

CDT <1.6% – No excess alcohol intake
CDT 1.6 – 1.9% – Intake may be high but not necessarily in the range of dependence
CDT >2.0% – Excess alcohol intake

Each Test Donor is legally identified at the appointment, blood samples are then collected, sealed and bar coded to strict Chain of Custody Protocols. Samples are then processed to our UKAS 17025 and ILAC accredited laboratory, where the test is performed.

The Blood test is performed under strict chain of custody protocols by fully trained and certified Phlebotomists. The test is available at some selected Crystal Health Drug Testing Clinics or via the mobile collection service.

Reports for Blood tests are dispatched within 3 – 5 working days from receipt of your sample at our laboratory, all test reports are legally defensible; however, it is recommended that this analysis is used in conjunction with a Hair Alcohol Test. An Expert Witness Statement will also be discussed at the time of your booking.

The CDT analysis covers a period of approximately 2 weeks, whereas an abnormal LFT result is caused by sustained excessive drinking.

When used in combination with a Hair test, which covers up to a 6-month time period, the most accurate overview of a person’s alcohol use can be provided.

All administration including the test results process is performed in compliance with ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and ISO 14001.

*Average appointment time: 45 minutes in conjunction with a Hair Alcohol Test

Why and when would you use this alcohol test?

Blood tests indicate if alcohol is being consumed excessively, a test may be required for legal proceedings, or to monitor a person’s alcohol intake. Social drinkers, and even binge drinking episodes should not cause an abnormal test result.

It is for this reason a Blood Alcohol test cannot be used in isolation to prove abstinence, a Hair Alcohol test would be required in combination.

The Blood Alcohol test used in combination with the Hair Alcohol test is used for a variety of civil or legal sectors (e.g. Social Services) along with private individuals to determine alcohol intake or evidence of abstinence.

For commercial Alcohol testing, Crystal Health recommend the Breath Alcohol test.

The legal sector and Individuals choose the Blood Alcohol test option as it provides the following benefits:

  • UKAS 17025 Accredited Blood Alcohol test
  • Provides the most accurate longer term analysis of an individual’s alcohol intake, when used in combination with the Hair Alcohol test
  • Discounted cost when ordered with the Hair Alcohol test
  • An Expert Witness Statement can be provided at an additional cost to provide further understanding of the laboratory test report

Limitations to consider for this test:

There are many benefits in using the Blood test, however there are limitations that must be taken into consideration before deciding if this is the correct test for your circumstances.

  • Requires a blood sample
  • Should not be used in isolation as a court of law may not accept the result due to the short detection window associated with the Blood Alcohol test


  • 17025 Accredited
  • Court accepted when used with Hair Alcohol Test
  • Discounts available when used in conjunction with Hair Alcohol Test


  • Blood sample required
  • Short window of detection in isolation

How much does this alcohol test cost?

There are a number of different factors that influence the cost of the Blood test, these include:

  • Whether you book an appointment at a Drug Testing Clinic or opt for the mobile collection service
  • If the Blood test is to be performed in isolation or in combination with a Hair Alcohol test

The cost of one individual booking a Blood Alcohol test is from £175 + VAT.

The cost of one individual booking a Blood & Hair Alcohol test is from £525 + VAT.

If required, an Expert Witness Statement of the results can be produced for an additional £90 + VAT.

How can you book this alcohol test?

The Blood Alcohol test can be used to determine the alcohol intake of an individual for private, legal or commercial matters.

Private individuals can also book this test and attend a Drug Testing Clinic or request a mobile collection officer attend their location (if suitable).

Our Clinical Advisors will guide you through the entire booking, appointment and drug testing process and will answer any technical questions you may have.

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