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Reliability of handheld versus benchtop measurement instruments used to assess breath alcohol concentration

Conference contribution
Authors Angelica Hagsand
Nadja Schreiber Compo
Jacqueline R. Evans
Andrea Wolfs
Amelia M. Jafary
Published in The 6th annual forensic science symposium at the International Forensic Research Institute Symposium (IFRI)
Place of publication Miami, USA
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Keywords reliability, benchtop, handheld, breathalyzer, Intoxilyzer 5000, BACtrack S80 Pro
Subject categories Applied Psychology, Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified


This study examined the reliability between two handheld BACtrack S80 Pro Breathalyzers and the benchtop instrument Intoxilyzer 5000. The latter instrument was calibrated every day and is on the Department of Transportation’s Conforming Products List of Evidential Breath Alcohol Measurement Devices. Four different BAC readings were taken from 60 intoxicated participants in a laboratory study (i.e., with two BACtrack S80’s and twice using the Intoxilyzer 5000). This 4-reading sequence was repeated multiple times over several hours. For most of the measurement points, the two readings from the Intoxilyzer 5000 did not significantly differ from each other, but did often differ from the BACtrack S80 devices. The reliability between the two BACtrack S80 was low. Given that the Intoxilyzer 5000 was calibrated each day, we can assume that the validity of this instrument is high and would correspond well with the participants’ blood alcohol concentration, better than the handheld ones would.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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