The New Zealand legislation provides for evidential breath testing of suspected intoxicated drivers, in relation to a statutory limit of 500 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. At present, breath tests are carried out on a hand-held fuel cell device, the ALCO-SENSOR II, calibrated to read directly in breath alcohol concentration units of micrograms per litre. Laboratory and field performance tests were carried out before the breath testing legislation was prepared, to determine the suitability of the ALCO-SENSOR II for evidential breath testing. The results of these tests are described. Since the breath-testing law came into effect, the operational characteristics of the device have been examined, and it is shown that, during field use, there is no systematic change in calibration. From an examination of 1940 breath test results, it is estimated that the introduction of evidential breath testing in December 1978 has effected a 64% reduction in blood sampling. Only 18.2% of drivers found to have a breath alcohol concentration above the legal limit exercised their option of rejecting the result in favour of a blood test.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Department of Scientific and Industrial Research

    Science Information Division, P.O. Box 9741
    Wellington,   New Zealand 
  • Authors:
    • Dick, G L
    • McDonald, IRC
    • Stone, H M
  • Publication Date: 1982

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 63-76
  • Serial:
    • DSIR Bulletin
    • Issue Number: 232
    • Publisher: Department of Scientific and Industrial Research

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00381308
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-035 472
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 29 1984 12:00AM