Evaluation of the Analytical Performance of a Fuel Cell Breath Alcohol Testing Instrument: A Seven-Year Comprehensive Study


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Robert J. Leonard, M.S.
335 W. Ponce de Leon Ave, #211
Atlanta, GA 30030
E-mail: rleonard20@gmail.com


Abstract:  Between 2003 and 2009, 54,255 breath test sequences were performed on 129 AlcoSensor IV–XL evidential instruments in Orange County, CA. The overall mean breath alcohol concentration and standard deviation from these tests was 0.141 ± 0.051 g/210 L. Of these test sequences, 38,580 successfully resulted in two valid breath alcohol results, with 97.5% of these results agreeing within ±0.020 g/210 L of each other and 86.3% within ±0.010 g/210 L. The mean absolute difference between duplicate tests was 0.006 g/210 L with a median of 0.004 g/210 L. Of the 2.5% of duplicate test results that did not agree within ±0.020 g/210 L, 95% of these had a breath alcohol concentration of 0.10 g/210 L or greater and 77% had an alcohol concentration of 0.15 g/210 L or greater. The data indicate that the AlcoSensor IV–XL can measure a breath sample for alcohol concentration with adequate precision even amid the effects of biological variations.