College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Alcohol Breath Tests: Criterion Times for Avoiding Contamination by “Mouth Alcohol”

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1978

Keywords

Alcohol Drinking, Breath Tests, Humans, Ethanol, Alcoholic Beverages

Publication Title

Behavior Research Methods and Instrumentation

ISSN

1554-3528

Volume

10

Issue/No.

6

Peer Reviewed

1

Abstract

Using either a gas chromatography or an infrared absorption technique, series of blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) determined by breath tests were obtained from human subjects immediately subsequent to their having only oral contact with beverages ranging in ethyl alcohol concentration from 4% to 95% +. Times for total dissipation of mouth alcohol residuals to a level of practical nonsignificance ranged from 10 to 19 min. Dissipation rates were an inverse and approximately exponential function of the ethyl alcohol concentration of the beverage and were greatly shortened by rinsing the mouth with warm (34°C) water prior to testing. The results are discussed in terms of their relevance to the methodology of a number of research studies employing BAC breath-testing equipment.

DOI

10.3758/BF03205406

ResearchID/ORCID ID

0000-0001-7705-3993