U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Breathalyzer Accuracy in Actual Law Enforcement Practice: A Comparison of Blood- and Breath-Alcohol Results in Wisconsin Drivers

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 32 Issue: 5 Dated: (September 1987) Pages: 1235-1240
P Harding; P H Field
Date Published
6 pages
Breathalyzer and blood-alcohol results from drivers arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and for related offenses were compared during a 2-year period.
Four hundred and four pairs of breath- and blood-alcohol results from specimens collected within 1 hour of each other were studied. Blood-alcohol concentrations ranged from zero to 0.421 percent weight per volume (w/v). Breath-alcohol concentrations ranged from zero to 0.44g/210L. The mean Breathalyzer result was 0.16g/L. The mean blood-alcohol result was 0.176 percent w/v. Compared to the blood-alcohol result, Breathalyzer results were lower by more than 0.10g/210L 61 percent of the time, within 0.01g/210L 33 percent of the time, and higher by more than 0.01g/210L 6 percent of the time. (Author abstract)