Here is a quick review of the pros and cons of calibration standards for alcohol test devices.
What’s a calibration standard? A calibration standard supplies a known amount of alcohol gas or vapor that can be used to verify the accuracy of alcohol testing devices and to adjust the calibration of alcohol testing devices.
Alcohol Gas Tank (dry gas)
Mini Alcohol Can
|Require AC power?||No||No||Yes||No|
|Convenient to use?||Yes||Somewhat||Somewhat||Somewhat|
|Shelf life||Up to 2 years||1 year||1 year||1 year|
|Custom BAC levels?||No||No||Yes (1)||No|
|Instant use?||Yes||Yes||No (2)||No (3)|
|Hazmat shipping?||Yes (4)||Yes (4)||No||No|
|Calibrate any alcohol test device?||No (5)||No (5)||Yes||Yes|
|Evidential?||Yes (6)||No||Yes (6)||No|
1. Operator can create simulator solution for any BAC level by mixing alcohol and water simulator solution.
2. Requires 15 – 20 minutes to warm simulator solution.
3. Requires approximately one hour for equilibrator solution to equilibrate.
4. Requires shipper to have hazmat certification, hazmat shipping fees required.
5. Can only be used with devices that sample a small portion of a subject’s breath.
6. On Conforming Products List of Calibration Units for Breath Alcohol Testing Devices.