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The accuracy and promise of personal breathalysers for research: steps toward a cost-effective reliable measure of alcohol intoxication?

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journal contribution
posted on 07.04.2021, 02:17 by Benjamin Riordan, Damian Scarf, Saleh Moradi, Jayde AM Flett, Kate B Carey, Tamlin S Conner
Objective:Technology is continuing to shape the way we collect health data, including data on alcohol use. A number of technologies are being developed to objectively measure intoxication 'in the wild' without relying on self-report; the most immediate solution may be the use of personal breathalysers. In this study, we aimed to determine whether a cost-effective personal breathalyser would perform in a similar manner to a device used for roadside breath testing. Method:We intercepted young adults (n = 337; 45% men) outside three concerts, administered 5-min interviews, and asked for breath samples on two devices (a personal breathalyser and a police-grade breathalyser). Results:Participants reported having consumed an average of 7.3 standard drinks before the interview and had a mean Blood Alcohol Content of 0.077 g/dl on the police-grade device and 0.085 g/dl on the personal device. Difference scores suggested the personal breathalyser was more likely to over report Blood Alcohol Content (bias = 0.008 g/dl). Conclusion:Although the personal device was more likely to over report Blood Alcohol Content compared with the police-grade device, the results suggest that personal devices could be used as a measure of Blood Alcohol Content when collecting data outside of the lab.

Funding

This research was funded by a grant to DS from the University of Otago (112012.01.R.FU). The university had no role in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication. BR is sponsored by a Fulbright New Zealand General Graduate Award.

History

Publication Date

01/01/2017

Journal

Digital Health

Volume

3

Article Number

2055207617746752

Pagination

5p.

Publisher

Sage Publications

ISSN

2055-2076

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.