IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


1st July, 2024 Science and Technology


Source: CNS Kashmir

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  • The Legal Metrology Division of the Department of Consumer Affairs has introduced new draft rules under the Legal Metrology (General) Rules, 2011.
  • These rules are designed to ensure the accuracy and reliability of evidential breath analyzers used in law enforcement and workplaces.


  • Evidential breath analyzers are sophisticated devices designed to measure and display the breath alcohol mass concentration accurately.
  • These devices play a crucial role in law enforcement, workplace safety, and public health by ensuring that individuals under the influence of alcohol are identified and managed appropriately.

Types of Breath Analyzers

  • Fuel Cell Breath Analyzers:
    • Mechanism: Use a fuel cell sensor that oxidizes alcohol in the breath, producing an electrical current proportional to the alcohol concentration.
    • Accuracy: High accuracy, commonly used by law enforcement.
    • Advantages: Durable, requires less calibration, long lifespan.
  • Semiconductor Breath Analyzers:
    • Mechanism: Use a semiconductor sensor that changes its electrical resistance when exposed to alcohol.
    • Accuracy: Lower accuracy compared to fuel cell analyzers.
    • Advantages: Affordable, portable, suitable for personal use.
  • Infrared Spectroscopy Breath Analyzers:
    • Mechanism: Measure the absorption of infrared light by alcohol molecules in the breath.
    • Accuracy: Highly accurate, often used in evidential breath testing.
    • Advantages: Provides detailed analysis, used in legal and medical settings.

New Draft Rules for Evidential Breath Analyzers

  • Verification and Stamping:
    • Evidential breath analyzers must be verified and stamped according to the Legal Metrology Act, 2009.
    • Verification ensures the accuracy of the devices, protecting individuals from wrongful penalties due to faulty equipment.
  • Standardized Testing Procedures:
    • The new rules require standardized testing procedures to ensure consistent and reliable results across different devices.
    • Standardization fosters public confidence in the fairness and accuracy of enforcement actions.
  • Technical Requirements:
    • The rules outline several technical requirements for evidential breath analyzers:
      1. Displaying only the final measurement result.
      2. Including a printer to record results and ensuring the device does not operate without paper.
      3. Providing additional printed information along with the blood alcohol concentration result.
      4. Reporting results in different formats, such as blood alcohol concentration in blood.
    • Annual Verification:
      • Evidential breath analyzers must undergo yearly verification to ensure their accuracy during use.

Applications of Evidential Breath Analyzers

  • Law Enforcement:
    • Used to detect and deter drunk driving.
    • Employed in roadside screening and evidential testing at police stations.
    • Must meet legal standards for accuracy and reliability.
  • Workplace Safety:
    • Ensures a safe and productive work environment.
    • Used for pre-employment screening, random testing, and post-accident testing.
  • Medical and Clinical Settings:
    • Monitors alcohol consumption and diagnoses medical conditions.
    • Used for screening alcohol use disorders and monitoring patients in rehabilitation.




Q. The new draft rules under Legal Metrology (General) Rules, 2011 introduced by the Department of Consumer Affairs aim to ensure the accuracy and reliability of these devices, enhancing public safety and trust. Comment. (10 Marks)