The analysis of ethyl glucuronide (EtG), a marker of recent alcohol consumption, in serum with an optimized CZE assay is reported. The method uses a 0.1-mm id fused-silica capillary of 50 cm effective length that is coated with linear polyacrylamide, a pH 4.4 nicotinic acid/epsilon-aminocaproic acid (EACA) BGE, reversed polarity and indirect analyte detection. The assay is based on a 1:1 dilution of serum with deionized water and has LODs for EtG, lactate and acetate of 3.8 x 10(-7) M, 2.60 x 10(-6 )M and 2.18 x 10(-6 )M, respectively. Separation of EtG from endogenous macro- and microcomponents (anionic serum components of high and low concentration, respectively) and its quantification are shown to be possible for a wide range of lactate (stacker) and acetate (destacker) concentrations, macrocomponents that have an impact on the CZE behavior of EtG and that change after intake of ethanol. The assay has been successfully applied to the analysis of EtG, lactate and acetate in (i) sera of volunteers that ingested known amounts of alcohol and (ii) samples of patients that were classified (teetotalers and social drinkers vs. alcohol abusers) via analysis of carbohydrate-deficient transferrin.