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All breath analysers must be verified before sale or use: Consumer Affairs Department

June 28,2024

NEW DELHI: To prevent alcohol-related road incidents, the government has come out with a draft rules to ensure the accuracy and reliability of breath analyser equipment used by law enforcement agencies to measure alcohol concentration from breath samples. The Legal Metrology Division of the Department of Consumer Affairs has unveiled new draft rules for evidential breath analysers under the Legal Metrology (General) Rules, 2011, according to an official statement on Friday.

As per the draft rules, which have been placed on the website for public comments until July 26, evidential breath analysers need to be verified and stamped according to the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, to ensure their accuracy.

The Legal Metrology division has proposed that all the evidential breath analysers should be verified and stamped before sale/ putting into use. The equipment which are already in use need to be verified and stamped within one year.

The draft rules would come into force from the date of publication of this notification in the Official Gazette.

The department said that this verification of the analysers protects individuals from wrongful penalties due to faulty equipment and helps maintain the integrity of legal and workplace policies.

“This initiative aims to ensure the accuracy and reliability of breath analysers used by law enforcement and workplaces, thereby enhancing public safety and trust,” it added.

The Verified and standardised evidential breath analysers would accurately measure blood alcohol concentration from breath samples, ensuring that intoxicated individuals are identified swiftly and effectively.

This would help prevent alcohol-related incidents on the road, contributing to safer travel for everyone.

“The new rules require evidential breath analysers to follow standardised testing procedures, ensuring consistent and reliable results across different devices. This standardisation fosters public confidence in the fairness and accuracy of enforcement actions,” the department said.

Evidential breath analysers provide a non-invasive way to measure blood alcohol content, offering quick and painless sample collection. The rapid analysis capabilities allow law enforcement officers to make swift, informed decisions, enhancing the effectiveness of roadside checks.

“The availability of stamped and verified evidential breath analysers to the public can raise awareness about the effects of alcohol on impairment and the legal limits for safe operation of vehicles and machinery. This encourages responsible behaviour and informed decision-making,” the department said.

The draft rules define “evidential breath analyser” as an instrument that measures and displays the breath alcohol mass concentration of exhaled human breath within specified error limits and is applicable to those types of evidential breath analysers that use mouthpieces for sampling the breath.

The rules provide for various types of tests to ensure, the correctness of the instrument.

The yearly verification will ensure the accuracy of this instrument during use.

The draft rules have also outlined several technical requirements for evidential breath analysers, such as displaying only the final measurement result; the inclusion of a printer to record results and ensuring the device does not operate without paper.

The proposed rules also necessitate providing additional printed information along with the blood alcohol concentration result as well as reporting results in different formats, such as blood alcohol concentration in blood.

The new draft rules represent a significant step towards improving road safety and enforcement reliability.

“By ensuring that evidential breath analysers are accurate, standardised, and easy to use, these rules will benefit the public through better enforcement, increased safety, and enhanced trust in legal and workplace alcohol testing,” the department said, adding that it remains committed to safeguarding public welfare through rigorous standards and reliable measurement instruments.

Source: Economic Times

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