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For medicolegal purposes, breath alcohol content is typically determined from an end-expiratory sample. Measurements obtained by this method necessarily underestimate the alveolar breath alcohol content, and therefore underestimate the blood alcohol content. We suggest and analyse an improved paradigm which uses the entire time-series of breath alcohol measurements during exhalation, not simply the last recorded value. We present two mathematical models for the exhaling lung, and discuss the implications of each for more accurate and therefore more reliable breath alcohol measurement.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/oxfordjournals.alcalc.a008117

Type

Journal article

Journal

Alcohol Alcohol

Publication Date

01/1996

Volume

31

Pages

61 - 67

Keywords

Adult, Alcoholic Intoxication, Automobile Driving, Breath Tests, Ethanol, Female, Humans, Male, Mathematical Computing, Metabolic Clearance Rate, Pulmonary Alveoli, Pulmonary Ventilation, Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted, Software