• Stephen Biss

Target Value of the Alcohol Standard in the Simulator

This video displays a variety of alcohol standards that could be used in a #duisimulator for evidentiary breath testing for calibration checks, other control checks, and instrument calibration in Ontario. Please bear in mind that Approved Screening Devices require calibration and calibration checks every bit as much as Approved Instruments. "Calibration" of an Approved Instrument at the Canadian Authorized Service Centre may be an issue - what standards other than 100 were used to tweak the controls that change the optical bench? What is their pedigree? What standards other than 100 were used by the Inspector during the annual inspection recommended by the Alcohol Test Committee?

Target value is important in every control check by police. The target value of the Alcohol Standard is not stated on the Intoxilyzer Test Record, the Certificate of an Analyst, or in the Certificate of the Qualified Technician. The fact that there were two or three calibration checks between 90 and 110 mg / 100 mls has no probative value unless you know that the target value of the alcohol standard was 100 mg / 100 mls.

It may be the case that the particular Police Service generally buys 100 standard, but consider the possibility that they have purchased another standard from a supplier.

If an Approved Instrument is getting old and is reading too high (e.g. 100 reads as 110), use of a target 90 alcohol standard (or a watered down by 10% 100 standard) would result in calibration checks at or about 100 mg / 100 mls plus or minus 10 mg / 100 mls and make it look like that Approved Instrument is properly calibrated. It is unlikely that a police officer would ever do such a thing but it is the responsibility of a criminal defence lawyer to make sure that a 100 mg / 100 mls standard was and is being used by that police detachment.

There is documentation of the target value or values used at the police detachment stored in the 8000C COBRA IV data in Column H under the field name "std_val". Review of this data, including a review of changes in this data over time, is therefore useful to the defence. Here are the first 8 field names of approximately 55 in a COBRA IV download. The field std_val indicates target value. Obtain COBRA by Stinchcombe, O'Connor, or FOI to determine the target value(s) of alcohol standard being used by the police. The paper Alcohol Standard Log should also contain target values, but some police services such as Peel have stopped using them.










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