Volume 35, Issue 4 (July 1990)
The Response of the Intoxilyzer 4011AS-A® to a Number of Possible Interfering Substances
Five Intoxilyzer 4011AS-A®s were tested for their response to eleven chemicals and one mixture of chemicals. The air/water partition ratios were also determined for these eleven chemicals and one mixture. The chemicals tested and their approximate partition ratios were the following: acetaldehyde (190:1), acetone (341:1), acetonitrile (578:1), isoprene (1:1), isopropanol (1671:1), methanol (3229:1), methylene chloride (11:1), methyl ethyl ketone (229:1), toluene (5.5:1), 1,1,1-trichloroethane (14:1), trichloroethylene (20:1), and a 50:50 mixture of 1.1,1-trichloroethane and trichloroethylene (14:1). Of the eleven chemicals and one mixture studied during this experiment, only three, isopropanol, toluene, and methyl ethyl ketone, could reasonably interfere with the test, and then only under unusual circumstances—those circumstances being a slight additive effect to a breath ethanol concentration near the level required for prosecution. Any substantial additive effect from these three substances would illuminate the interference light which invalidates the test. The mean illumination point of the interference light was 0.0286 g/210 L for methyl ethyl ketone, 0.0294 for toluene, and between 0.0116 and 0.0292 for the apparent alcohol concentration for isopropanol, depending on the amount of isopropanol metabolized to acetone. Even with these unusual circumstances considered, the Intoxilyzer 4011AS-A must be viewed as an effective way of determining the ethanol concentration in human breath for evidential purposes.