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Unobtrusive and Highly Accurate Breath Alcohol Analysis Enabled by Improved Methodology and Technology


Publication Type:

Journal article


Journal of Forensic Investigation




The study objective was to evaluate a novel method and technology for unobtrusive determination of breath alcohol in relation to current industrial accuracy standards. The methodology uses carbon dioxide as a tracer gas detected by sensor technology based on infrared spectroscopy. Part one of the investigation was to analyse the performance of hand-held prototype devices and included tests of resolution, unit-to-unit variation during calibration, response to alcohol containing gas pulses created with a wet gas simulator, and cross sensitivity to other substances. In part two of the study, 30 human participants provided 1465 breath tests in both unobtrusive and obtrusive use modes. The results of both parts of the study indicate that the prototype devices exceeded present industrial accuracy requirements. The proposed methodology and technology eliminate the previous contradiction between unobtrusiveness and high accuracy.


author = {Jonas Ljungblad and Bertil H{\"o}k and Annika Kaisdotter Andersson (Jonsson) and Mikael Ekstr{\"o}m and Mats Enlund},
title = {Unobtrusive and Highly Accurate Breath Alcohol Analysis Enabled by Improved Methodology and Technology},
volume = {2},
number = {4},
pages = {1--8},
month = {October},
year = {2014},
journal = {Journal of Forensic Investigation},
url = {}