Volume 43, Issue 1 (January 1998)
Evaluation of the Effect of Asthma Inhalers and Nasal Decongestant Sprays on a Breath Alcohol Test
The effects of eight prescription and non-prescription asthma inhalers and four over-the-counter nasal decongestants on the DataMaster, an evidential breath alcohol instrument, were evaluated. Subjects self administered the medication, and breath alcohol tests were administered immediately after use and following a 15 min waiting period. The only preparation which produced any effect on the instrument was Primatene Mist which contains 34% ethyl alcohol. The alcohol was, however, eliminated from the breath in the usual pattern of mouth alcohol elimination, and after 5 min there was no longer any effect. The inclusion of a 15 min deprivation period prior to an evidential breath test, during which time nothing is introduced into the mouth, is an adequate safeguard against interference with the test caused by alcohol containing inhalers.