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NCJ Number: 230153 Find in a Library
Title: Effect of Water-Soluble OC "Pepper" Spray on Select Infrared and Electrochemical Breath Alcohol Instruments
Journal: Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal  Volume:42  Issue:4  Dated:December 2009  Pages:266-275
Author(s): B. M. Lutmer
Date Published: December 2009
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English; French
Country: Canada
Annotation: This study examined the capability of oleoresin capsicum (OC), or "pepper" incapacitating aerosol sprays, to influence a breath alcohol test.
Abstract: The study found no elevated readings due to OC exposure for any subjects, and a 9.1-percent OC mixture did not produce a measurable response on any of the breath alcohol instruments tested. Given these results, the likelihood of any difference being found with additional testing of water-based OC aerosols is marginal. When considered in the context of an exposed subject, this small chance of test interference is even further removed. Therefore, the use of OC "pepper" spray on subjects should not affect subsequent breath alcohol test results. The author cautions, however, that with the many different chemical restraint products on the market and the relatively small sample of products and subjects tested, the study's results do not provide a definitive answer for every possible scenario. Eleven drinking and three nondrinking subjects were tested using infrared and fuel-cell breath alcohol testing instruments before and after exposure to OC spray. After exposure to OC and completion of a required training exercise, all subjects were allowed to decontaminate, which included washing the face, hair, and ears with baby shampoo and water. No mandatory observation period was required between exposure and subsequent testing. 5 figures and 23 references
Main Term(s): Police research
Index Term(s): Driving Under the Influence (DUI); Evidence collection; Evidence identification; Oleoresin Capsicum (OC)/Pepper Spray; Testing and measurement
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