The term “urine test” sounds ominous, especially if you hear it from the mouth of a police officer who has flagged you down for suspected impaired driving. You know if he orders a urine test, it won’t be to screen for diabetes or, if you’re a woman, for pregnancy. To traffic law enforcers, the urinalysis has only one purpose: to find out if you are taking drugs or alcohol.
The basic drug categories that are checked in a testing program are those required by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for commercial driver’s licensing. These are the cannabinoids (marijuana,) cocaine (crack,) amphetamines (crystal meth,) opiates (heroin, opium, morphine,) and phencyclidine. Alcohol level is also checked in urine tests but results are not as accurate.
If you take any of these drugs occasionally and your driving is affected, the consequences can be very harsh. Penalties that are deemed appropriate only for hard-core drug users may be imposed on you. But refusing to take the test will get your driver’s license revoked, with the period of revocation depending on the state laws.
If you are arrested for a DUI offense and you think it’s unfair to get a conviction based on a positive urine test because you only use drugs very rarely, there are ways to beat the test. Remember that urine tests for a possible DUI offense are done as soon as possible and some techniques for voiding a clean urine specimen will take days, so cross them out.
If you’re out with friends and you know you’ll be smoking a joint or two, keep in mind that the next few hours can change your life in a bad way. Click here to know more about DUI and the tests you’ll have to undergo if you are stopped while driving.
Meanwhile, here is what you can do.
- Arrange not to drive a car. Be a passenger for the night and ride with someone else, preferably someone who isn’t drunk or stoned or your life will be endangered.
- Drink water or nonalcoholic beverages in between alcoholic drinks and inhaling or taking drugs. Water might dilute your urine so that it gives a false low or negative result, especially if taken within an hour of your alcohol and drug use.
- Bring along a substitute specimen taken from an unpolluted person, obviously with his consent. Collect it fresh and seal the container tightly. Since you’ll need it as a precaution for one night only, you don’t have to worry about bacteria growing. The only problem with this method is if the urine gets too cold from the car’s air conditioning. Freshly voided urine is warm and the authorities routinely check the container to gauge the urine’s temperature.
Here are urine-adulterating techniques to avoid. Law enforcers are wise to the ways of people trying to corrupt the test and are familiar with these methods:
- Drinking too much water to dilute your urine renders it almost colorless and lowers its creatinine level. The color and creatinine level are checked by the lab technicians in the testing procedure and any abnormality may indicate intentional distortion.
- Drinking body cleansers and detoxifiers that include sanitizing the urinary tract and washing away traces of alcohol or drugs from the body. These products can be detected in the screening and will result in a failed test.
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- License: Creative Commons image source
Marie Miller is a mental health nurse and assists in creating drug rehabilitation programs.
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