Variables affecting the precision and accuracy of the Intoxilyzer 5000

Behnoush Memari, Florida International University


The Intoxilyzer 5000 was tested for calibration curve linearity for ethanol vapor concentration between 0.020 and 0.400g/210L with excellent linearity. Calibration error using reference solutions outside of the allowed concentration range, response to the same ethanol reference solution at different temperatures between 34 and 38$\sp\circ$C, and its response to eleven chemicals, 10 mixtures of two at the time, and one mixture of four chemicals potentially found in human breath have been evaluated. Potential interferents were chosen on the basis of their infrared signatures and the concentration range of solutions corresponding to the non-lethal blood concentration range of various volatile organic compounds reported in the literature. The result of this study indicates that the instrument calibrates with solutions outside the allowed range up to $\pm$10% of target value. Headspace FID dual column GC analysis was used to confirm the concentrations of the solutions. Increasing the temperature of the reference solution from 34 to 38$\sp\circ$C resulted in linear increases in instrument recorded ethanol readings with an average increase of 6.25%/$\sp\circ$C. Of the eleven chemicals studied during this experiment, six, isopropanol, toluene, methyl ethyl ketone, trichloroethylene, acetaldehyde, and methanol could reasonably interfere with the test at non-lethal reported blood concentration ranges, the mixtures of those six chemicals showed linear additive results with a combined effect of as much as a 0.080g/210L reading (Florida's legal limit) without any ethanol present.

Subject Area

Analytical chemistry

Recommended Citation

Memari, Behnoush, "Variables affecting the precision and accuracy of the Intoxilyzer 5000" (1999). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI1395748.