Small drivers more likely to fail breath test

21st September 2004, Comments 0 comments

24 September 2004, MAGDEBURG - Small drivers are more likely to fail a breath test than tall ones, a Germany study shows. Magdeburg University's Institute for Forensic Medicine said its study of a breath analysis kit used in Germany and other countries showed that differences in lung volume could affect test results. Senior physician Rudiger Schoening confirmed a report in Focus news magazine which said small people were more likely than tall people to fail the test even when both had drunk the same amount

24 September 2004

MAGDEBURG - Small drivers are more likely to fail a breath test than tall ones, a Germany study shows.

Magdeburg University's Institute for Forensic Medicine said its study of a breath analysis kit used in Germany and other countries showed that differences in lung volume could affect test results.

Senior physician Rudiger Schoening confirmed a report in Focus news magazine which said small people were more likely than tall people to fail the test even when both had drunk the same amount of alcohol.

Institute head Dieter Krause was quoted by the magazine as saying small people blew out higher alcohol concentrations than bigger people "even if they are the same age, the same sex and have the same blood-alcohol levels".

Krause said smaller people have to exhale air from deep inside their lungs in order to reach the minimum level of breath required of the "Alcotest 7110 Evidential" instrument.

However the alcohol content of this breath is higher than that provided by bigger people who can reach the minimum level by exhaling from the upper part of the lung.

Draeger Safety AG & Co, the Luebeck-based firm which manufacturers the analyzer, admitted taller people might be at an advantage.

Marketing chief Johannes Lagois said minimal deviations of alcohol concentration could not be ruled out "in persons with a very high lung volume".

He said it would not a problem to make technical changes to take into account a person's size, but the company felt there was no need. A smaller driver without the lung capacity to complete the test would probably have to give a blood sample anyway, he said.

However taller people could in exceptional cases "slip through and be just under the limit", he added.

DPA

Subject: German news

 

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