Suitability of respiratory-impaired patients for testing on the Lion Intoxilyzer 8000 breath analysis system

M. J. Peters, L. Buddle, B. Karet, P. Rogers, G. Cossa, L. Seccombe

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review

192 Citations (Scopus)


It is a legal requirement for drivers to present a breath analysis sample when requested by NSW Police. The evidential device used (Lion Intoxilyzer) requires at least a 1-L sample at a flow rate of 8 L/min (taking 7.5 s to achieve). From time to time it is argued in court that a person could not provide a sample because of lung disease. The aim of this study is to determine whether there is a threshold below which a valid sample can be provided with this equipment.

Methods: Clinic patients with confirmed moderate or severe chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) or interstitial lung disease (ILD) were recruited. Spirometry was performed to document current status. Subjects were asked to perform routine breath analysis following the NSW Police Standard Operational Procedure. Three efforts are allowed. No subject had used this equipment previously. Reasons for failure to produce evidence were recorded. Simple statistical analysis identified the percentage of subjects failing to supply evidence.

Results: 22 COPD patients [mean (SD) age 65 (13) and FEV 1 48(12)% predicted] and 9 ILD patients [age 65 (21); FVC 72 (21)% of predicted] were tested. 21 COPD subjects (95%) were able to provide evidence, with 14 successful on the first attempt. Seven ILD subjects (78%) were able to provide evidence, with 4 passing on the fi rst attempt. The single COPD subject who failed had FEV 1 23% predicted and FVC of 1.16 L. One ILD patient with scleroderma with facial involvement could not achieve a mouth seal and one with FVC of 1.45 L could not provide suffi cient sample volume.

Conclusion: Unless there is very severe COPD or very low FVC an adequate evidential exhaled gas sample should be obtained using the Lion Intoxilyzer 8000 breath analysis system.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberP091
Pages (from-to)60-60
Number of pages1
Issue numberSupplement 2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


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