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General FAQ

Question ID:
 623

Most, if not all, states have regulations that govern workplace testing.  Due to the fact that there are 50 different sets of rules and that they are often dynamic in nature, Intoximeters tries to, but is not always up to date on the latest requirements for each and every state.  Many companies consult with legal counsel specializing in employment law when establishing a company policy regarding drug/alcohol testing.

If your company is required to conduct drug and alcohol testing under one of the Federally mandated workplace alcohol testing programs (i.e.; the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or another federal agency regulation) it is probable that these federal regulations supersede state laws.

Question ID:
 380
Link Title:
 DUI/DWI Laws
Link:
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

In the USA there is a national standard of .080 BAC. Effective December 30, 2018, Utah’s BAC is set at 0.05%.

Question ID:
 385
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

Many hand sanitizers have alcohol as a primary ingredient. Some are as much as 60% alcohol. The alcohol from the sanitizer will rapidly evaporate after application. To avoid the possibility that alcohol from the use of this product could affect a subject test result, it is best to abstain from testing until after the alcohol has evaporated. We would suggest that waiting 5 to 10 minutes after the sanitizer has dried on the Operator`s hand will eliminate the possibility that residual alcohol from the sanitizer could affect a test result.

Question ID:
 386
Link Title:
 Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988
Link:
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

To date CLIA has taken the position that breath alcohol testing is not a diagnostic test and therefore is not covered by CLIA. See a position statement from CLIA at the link above.

Question ID:
 388
Link Title:
 Federal Register - CPL/Screening
Link:
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

The DOT (ODAPC) website has a link to the information. Click the link below to view the latest CPL for screening devices.

Question ID:
 390
Link Title:
 Other Educational Papers
Link:
Section:
 Website
SubPart:
 General

The basic calculation for a man is [7* Ethanol in the body (in ounces) / Weight (in pounds) = BrAC in gms/210 liters of breath.] To calculate the amount of alcohol in the body, add up the total ethanol consumed and subtract .5 ounces for each hour since consumption. (3 ounces of 80 proof liquor would constitute (3*(.80 / 2)) or 1.2 ounces of pure alcohol.

To calculate the BrAC for a women, do the calculation for a man and multiply by 1.1 times.  The average women’s body has more body fat and less water per pound than the average man’s body. Therefore, the same amount of alcohol consumed will be more concentrated in a women’s body who weighed the same as a man.

As you know from the About Alcohol section of this website, the dynamics of alcohol in the human body can be quite complicated and the above formula can only produce a very rough estimate.

Question ID:
 393
Link Title:
 Drink Wheel
Link:
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

There are many factors which can affect an individual’s alcohol concentration. The factors include, but are not limited to, how much alcohol is in the “drink”, percentage of water composition in the user’s body makeup, recent consumption of food.  Try the Drink Wheel for an approximation.

Question ID:
 401
Link Title:
 Alcohol Absorption, Distribution & Elimination
Link:
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

Yes, if you drank enough last night and all of the alcohol in your system had not been eliminated, then your blood and breath would still contain alcohol.

Question ID:
 408
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

If you observe a fifteen minute deprivation period prior to testing, we are not aware of anything that will affect alcohol concentrations in your breath.

Question ID:
 415
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

No.  Even mouthwash containing alcohol will dissipate from the mouth after a 15 minute deprivation period.

Question ID:
 422
Link Title:
 Fuel Cell Technology
Link:
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

No.  Intoximeters instruments use a fuel cell as the primary analytical sensor and the fuel cell sensor only responds to alcohol on the human breath.

Question ID:
 424
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

Pressurized dry gas standards are considered HAZMAT and you will, at a minimum, have to empty the tank before disposal.  Different states have different laws on the disposal of such canisters.  You can try contacting your local waste or sanitation company to determine the requirements in your state.

Alternatively, you can contact your state’s Solid Waste Management Office and ask for your local guidelines. You may follow the link below to the EPA Government website to get your state contact information.

You may also follow this link Tank Disposal for more instructions.

Question ID:
 425
Link Title:
 Alcohol Metabolism
Link:
Section:
 Alcohol Testing
Tag:
 NULL
Article Type:
 NULL

Yes, if they had a high enough alcohol concentration on the previous night that their body has not had time to metabolize it all.

Question ID:
 430
Link Title:
 How to Define Zero Tolerance
Link:
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

Any reading at or above the pre-defined level stated in your testing program’s policies or regulations.

Question ID:
 437
Link Title:
 Zero Tolerance Paper
Link:
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

With a breath test instrument, as long as the sampling was preceded by a 15 minute deprivation period, results of 0.01 or above, on a properly calibrated instrument, indicates that alcohol is present. This is consistent with the reporting of blood samples.  Blood samples are usually reported as a two digit result (.##) therefore, when using blood, 0.01 is the lowest reported result.

Question ID:
 443
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

Cooking typically boils off the alcohol and leaves little more than the flavor of the beverage, however, if all the alcohol has not been eliminated in the cooking process, a result could occur from the ingestion of the alcohol since eating alcohol is little different than drinking alcohol.

Question ID:
 448
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

No.  Fuel Cells will not respond to substances other than alcohol on the human breath after a 15 minute deprivation period.

Question ID:
 455
Link Title:
 NHTSA Evidential CPL
Link:
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

You must read the procedures for testing and determine if they require any particular approval. In law enforcement this information can be obtained from the regulating authority in that jurisdiction.  For the U.S. Department of Transportation workplace testing program, refer to the rule in the Federal Register.

Many jurisdictions reference the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Conforming Products List as a source for approved instruments.

Question ID:
 459
Link Title:
 Purchase a Dry Gas Standard
Link:
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

A Calibration Check, or Accuracy Check as it is sometimes known, is a test of your breath testing device’s ability to read a known alcohol standard within a certain tolerance.  This is accomplished by running a standard with a known alcohol concentration through the instrument’s sampling system and verifying that the result is within an acceptable tolerance range of the expected value of the standard.

If the instrument does not produce a result within the tolerances required by your testing program, the instrument must be calibrated. Calibration is the adjustment of the analytical system so that it will read a known standard properly.

Refer to your program’s Quality Assurance Program for details.

Question ID:
 463
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

Unless the rules for your program state otherwise, a calibration is only necessary when the instrument proves to be out of calibration on an accuracy check.

Question ID:
 466
Link Title:
 NHTSA Evidential CPL
Link:
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

Our DOT-approved evidential breath analyzers, if properly calibrated, meet and exceed the DOT requirements of producing results within the greater of plus or minus 5% or .005 of a known alcohol standard.

Question ID:
 469
Link Title:
 Blood Alcohol Concentration Limits
Link:
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

Many methods of expressing blood alcohol concentration are in use throughout the world and converting from one to another can be quite confusing.  Check with the regulating agency for your testing program to determine what specific unit of measure is used in your jurisdiction.

One jurisdiction may express a concentration of 80 milligrams (mg) of alcohol in 100 mL of blood as 80mg%. Since 80 mg is 0.08 grams, 0.08 grams of alcohol in 100 mL may be written as 0.08%. In other words, 80 mg% is equal to 0.08% which is equal to 80 mg/dL (deciliter = 100 mL).  This value can also be described as 0.08 BAC.   In the UK the same concentration is expressed as 34.78 ug/100mL.

Even within the United States, various units may be used.  You may see results expressed in blood units (grams/100mL of blood or milligrams/dL of blood) or as breath units (grams/210L of breath).

You can get it from the DOT website or find it in the Federal Register.  Click on the link below to download a copy.

Question ID:
 490
Link Title:
 Batteries in a Portable World - The Lead Acid Batt
Link:
Section:
 Alcohol Testing

We recommend that you do not leave the battery charger plugged in all the time.  In some cases, this may cause premature damage to the 12 volt battery, reducing its ability to store a charge, although this is less likely with newer chargers and batteries.

You should use the RBT IV until the instrument indicates a low battery condition on the display.  Then connect the battery charger for 8 – 12 hours.   Leaving it plugged in overnight or over a weekend is acceptable.

It should be noted, however, that the 12 volt rechargeable battery will eventually become so depleted that the instrument will not operate even if the battery charger is plugged in.  When this happens it is time to purchase a new battery.  A replacement battery can be ordered in the Products section of this website or through Customer Service at (314) 429-4000.

Sealed Lead Acid Battery – 12V – 2.3Ah

PLEASE CHARGE YOUR BATTERY PRIOR TO USE AND RECHARGE IT AGAIN AFTER USE

1. Important safety considerations:
o Do not incinerate.
o Do not directly connect the negative and positive terminals.
o Do not use other than the specified battery charger.

2. To prevent deterioration or damage to the battery:
o Do not drop or subject to strong physical shock.
o Do not use to power equipment other than specified.
o Do not use below –10ºC (15ºF) or above +40ºC (105ºF).

3. To ensure long battery life:
o Do not discharge completely—the SLA battery must always be stored in a
charged state.
o The SLA battery does not lend itself to fast charging—typical charge times are 8
to 16 hours.
o The SLA battery can be stored for up to two years but must be kept in a charged
condition.
o A periodic topping charge, also referred to as ‘refreshing charge’, is required to
prevent the open cell voltage from dropping below 2.10V.

Question ID:
 599

We at Intoximeters are not experts on infectious diseases and would urge our customers to seek direction from medical experts for questions related to the transmission of any disease.  There are, however, several issues to consider with regard to reducing the likelihood of disease transmission when using a breath alcohol detection device.

Removing yourself from direct contact with the subject’s bodily fluids, including their breath is obviously a good practice.  Certain instruments, such as the Alco-Sensor IV, are designed to help you to achieve this.

Wearing protective equipment, such as gloves, masks or respirators is a precaution that will further reduce the likelihood of disease transmission.

Washing your hands after testing a subject is also a good practice.  If you have washed your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and you are operating a breath alcohol analyzer, wait 10 minutes after your hands have dried before performing a breath test.  This will insure that any alcohol vapors from the hand cleaner will have dispersed, eliminating the possibility of contaminating the test environment.

Intoximeters has developed two guides (Infection Control Cleaning and Disinfecting Intoximeters Handheld Instruments and Infection Control Cleaning and Disinfecting Intoximeters Desktop Instruments)  that list some of the concerns and commonsense steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission while performing a breath alcohol test or while cleaning or disinfecting an Intoximeters, Inc. alcohol breath test instrument.

Additional information and directives on disease and Coronavirus can be found through OSHA (3990-03 2020) or the CDC. And the CDC has put out documentation for the maintenance on other types of breathing related equipment such as spirometers that may have helpful information on infections control measures.

For more detailed information on this subject please click on the link below.

Disease Control

Question ID:
 606

Intoximeters Alco-Sensor IV @ Work software works with a LabelWriter printer that produces printed results on self-stick labels.  These labels are not tamper-evident.  In fact, in some cases, they can be removed from the Alcohol Testing Form without leaving any pieces behind.

In our training courses, we always teach BATs using the Alco-Sensor IV @ Work system to use evidence tape on these labels so they cannot be removed from the form without some residue being left behind to indicate tampering.

Please note that Intoximeters does offer self-stick rolls of paper that are tamper proof but these paper rolls are for different printer products and do not work with the LabelWriter.

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