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Article: The statistical variability of blood alcohol concentration measurements in drink-driving cases

TitleThe statistical variability of blood alcohol concentration measurements in drink-driving cases
Authors
Issue Date2000
PublisherElsevier Ireland Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/forsciint
Citation
Forensic Science International, 2000, v. 110 n. 3, p. 207-214 How to Cite?
AbstractLike many other places in the world, Hong Kong has drink-driving legislation which prohibits a driver from having in his blood alcohol exceeding a prescribed limit while in control of a motor vehicle. The accuracy of measuring this alcohol concentration is obviously of prime concern as an erroneous result can avert the administration of justice. The common practice is to deduct all errors from the measured value and compare the deducted value with the prescribed limit, so that the benefit of all errors of the measurement is given to the driver. It is therefore important for any laboratory responsible for measuring blood alcohol concentrations to identify and quantify all errors associated with the measurement. The present study examined 900 blood alcohol determinations carried out by the Hong Kong Government Laboratory (HKGL) on cases of suspected drink driving. The determinations were performed by 5 different analysts with two different sets of instruments during 1995-1997. Statistical analysis indicated that the instruments had no bearing on the random error or variability and that even though analyst was a significant factor on variability, the deviation from the mean so caused was only 0.3% and of no practical significance. When the systematic error introduced by the tolerance limits of the certified alcohol standards (purchased from the Laboratory of Government Chemists, UK) was taken into account, the total uncertainty (random plus systematic errors) of an alcohol determination at 99.5% confidence level was found to be 4%. It is recommended that laboratories engaged in blood alcohol determination should adopt similar statistical treatment of their analytical results to find out the error and to ensure that the results are independent of analyst and instrument used. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/82685
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 1.95
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.210
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorFung, WKen_HK
dc.contributor.authorChan, KLen_HK
dc.contributor.authorMok, VKKen_HK
dc.contributor.authorLee, CWen_HK
dc.contributor.authorChoi, VMFen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-09-06T08:32:14Z-
dc.date.available2010-09-06T08:32:14Z-
dc.date.issued2000en_HK
dc.identifier.citationForensic Science International, 2000, v. 110 n. 3, p. 207-214en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0379-0738en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/82685-
dc.description.abstractLike many other places in the world, Hong Kong has drink-driving legislation which prohibits a driver from having in his blood alcohol exceeding a prescribed limit while in control of a motor vehicle. The accuracy of measuring this alcohol concentration is obviously of prime concern as an erroneous result can avert the administration of justice. The common practice is to deduct all errors from the measured value and compare the deducted value with the prescribed limit, so that the benefit of all errors of the measurement is given to the driver. It is therefore important for any laboratory responsible for measuring blood alcohol concentrations to identify and quantify all errors associated with the measurement. The present study examined 900 blood alcohol determinations carried out by the Hong Kong Government Laboratory (HKGL) on cases of suspected drink driving. The determinations were performed by 5 different analysts with two different sets of instruments during 1995-1997. Statistical analysis indicated that the instruments had no bearing on the random error or variability and that even though analyst was a significant factor on variability, the deviation from the mean so caused was only 0.3% and of no practical significance. When the systematic error introduced by the tolerance limits of the certified alcohol standards (purchased from the Laboratory of Government Chemists, UK) was taken into account, the total uncertainty (random plus systematic errors) of an alcohol determination at 99.5% confidence level was found to be 4%. It is recommended that laboratories engaged in blood alcohol determination should adopt similar statistical treatment of their analytical results to find out the error and to ensure that the results are independent of analyst and instrument used. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherElsevier Ireland Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/forsciinten_HK
dc.relation.ispartofForensic Science Internationalen_HK
dc.rightsForensic Science International. Copyright © Elsevier Ireland Ltd.en_HK
dc.titleThe statistical variability of blood alcohol concentration measurements in drink-driving casesen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=0379-0738&volume=110&spage=207&epage=214&date=2000&atitle=The+statistical+variability+of+blood+alcohol+concentration+measurements+in+drink-driving+casesen_HK
dc.identifier.emailFung, WK: wingfung@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityFung, WK=rp00696en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/S0379-0738(00)00174-2en_HK
dc.identifier.pmid10842032-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-0034608445en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros57406en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-0034608445&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume110en_HK
dc.identifier.issue3en_HK
dc.identifier.spage207en_HK
dc.identifier.epage214en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000087743700006-
dc.publisher.placeIrelanden_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridFung, WK=13310399400en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridChan, KL=37004089600en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridMok, VKK=8520581800en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLee, CW=38163025600en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridChoi, VMF=36799375400en_HK

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