The Peril of Peeing in a Cup

A friend of mine was in for a regular checkup and underwent a battery of tests. One of which surprised the heck out of him since it reported that he had alcohol in his system. The test indicated that he had enough alcohol in his urine so as to be guilty of a DUI if he had been stopped by a cop. Trouble is, he doesn’t drink, not a drop, not a dram and not even once and awhile. A complete teetotaler and has been for life. Now this test was only part and parcel of a checkup and had no legal repercussions but what if it had been a test for employment?

Researching false-positives on drug and alcohol testing it turns out that the tests aren’t that reliable after all. An alcohol-positive result can be produced in diabetics or could be the result of a bladder infection or for women due to a yeast infection. What’s more simply consuming a glass of fruit juice before the test could produce a false-positive. Even sauerkraut on a hot dog could result in an alcohol finding.

How many people have lost jobs due to sauerkraut? Or fruit juice? Or an infection?

For that matter apparently people who have been within the proximity of someone else who had consumed marijuana could themselves test positive for THC, the active ingredient in pot.

Should we really be making job decisions based on such ephemeral data?

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