Type Approval Procedures for Breath Alcohol Screening Devices

  • Published: Home Office and Forensic Science Service, 2004
  • Authors: Home Office and Forensic Science Service
  • Date Added: 15 Mar 2013
  • Last Update: 15 Mar 2013
  • Format: pdf


To describe the technical requirements in order to achieve type approval for new Breath Alcohol Screening Devices for police use in theUK.


The document summarises the procedure which must be followed by equipment manufacturers.

Key Findings:

  • Breath alcohol testing was introduced into the UK in October 1967 with the Road Safety Act 1967. This has been replaced by the Road Traffic Act 1988.

  • Similar provisions covering other modes of transport are included in the Transport and Works Act 1992 and the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003.

  • All three acts require Breath Alcohol Screening Devices to be type approved by the Secretary of State.

  • This document contains a description of the technical requirements to be met for consideration for type approval for new Breath Alcohol Screening Devices for police use in the UK.

  • It is intended to be a reference for manufacturers wishing to develop new devices.

  • The document contains details concerning the construction of Breath Alcohol Screening Devices, their operation and methods of testing prior to submission to the Secretary of State for type approval consideration.

  • Any appropriate technology capable of providing the functionality required in this guide may be suitable.

  • The document contains information on the requirements relating to the following aspects of operation:

    • General Considerations in the design of the product (e.g. safety of device etc)

    • Technical specifications (e.g. required accuracy, measuring range and the type of display)

    • Meteorological characteristics (accuracy of results at different operating temperatures)

  • The document appendices cover the detailed tests/trials that the equipment must pass before type approval can be given.


Type approval, Breath Alcohol Screening


Performance and procedural requirements rather than a research document.