Volume 34, Issue 4 (July 1989)

    Effect of Hyperthermia on Breath-Alcohol Analysis

    (Received 15 June 1988; accepted 12 October 1988)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    Mild hyperthermia to the extent of a 2.5°C increase above normal body temperature was produced by immersion of ethanol-intoxicated subjects in a warm water bath. Hyperthermia did not influence the blood-alcohol decay curve of the subjects. Hyperthermia did cause a significant distortion of the breath-alcohol decay curve, up to as much as a 23% increase above blood-alcohol concentration. The magnitude of this distortion effect was calculated to be a 8.62% increase in breath-alcohol concentration over blood-alcohol concentration for each °C increase in core body temperature. The forensic relevance of these results is that further support is given to previous recommendations that temperature monitoring be included in procedures for breath-alcohol analysis. This leads to the recommendation that mouth temperature be measured before breath sampling to screen for abnormal body temperature and to allow for potential use of a “temperature correction factor.” This modification to existing analytical procedures would optimize the reliability of breath-ethanol analysis for prediction of blood-ethanol concentration.


    Author Information:

    Fox, GR
    Research associate and professor, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C.

    Hayward, JS
    Research associate and professor, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C.


    Stock #: JFS12711J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS12711J

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    Author
    Title Effect of Hyperthermia on Breath-Alcohol Analysis
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30