Background Urinary ethyl glucuronide (EtG) has emerged as the biomarker of choice for alcohol abstinence monitoring in forensic toxicology and is now used in the listing decision process for liver transplantations (LTs) in the German transplant program. However, EtG analysis in this patient group is challenging due to severely impaired liver function, renal failure, co-morbidities and multidrug regimens. The aim of our study was to evaluate liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)-based EtG analysis for a precise abstinence monitoring in transplant candidates. Methods EtG and ethyl sulfate (EtS) were analyzed by a commercial LC-MS/MS assay in 1787 spot urine samples of 807 patients (>85% from the Department of Hepatology) using a combination of quantifier and two qualifier mass transitions for each analyte. Influences of bacterial contamination, kidney and liver function were investigated. Results Two hundred and sixty-four urine samples had elevated (≥0.5 mg/L) EtG concentrations when only analyzing one quantifier mass transition. Eleven results (4.2%) were found to be false positive after combining three mass transitions for EtG quantification and verification with parallel analysis of EtS. Decreased kidney function was associated with a significantly higher rate of positive EtG samples. One of the false positive results was caused by bacterial metabolism. Conclusions Multimorbid pre-transplant patients have a high risk of individual analytical disturbances of EtG results obtained by LC-MS/MS. Therefore, EtG and EtS should always be measured by a combination of one quantifier and two qualifiers each and evaluated together.