Drivers suspected of alcohol intoxication are observed for a period of 15 min prior to quantitative breath alcohol testing. This is to preclude the interference of alcohol-based substances such as cough medicine, mouthwash, and breath spray just prior to actual evidential testing. To determine whether a 15 min observation period was necessary when performing evidential breath tests in the field, a mouth alcohol experiment was performed using the Dräger Evidential Portable Alcohol System (EPAS). Five types of alcohol beverages and the effects of expectorating versus swallowing were tested on twenty-five volunteer subjects. Serial measurements of breath and blood alcohol levels were performed at fixed time intervals. All alcohol beverage types gave two sequential measurements within 0.02 g/210 L of each other before 15 min had passed. Fifteen minutes was necessary to ensure there was no residual mouth alcohol. If the 15 min waiting period was not observed, the safety feature of the EPAS requiring two sequential measurements 2 min apart within 0.02 g/210 L would not ensure against mouth alcohol interference.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine