Certified forensic alcohol reference materials

Short Name: ALCOREF, Project Number: 16RPT02
Image showing a person blowing in breathalyser
Person blowing into a breathalyzer

Traceable gas samples lead to more reliable breathalyser tests

More widespread alcohol testing for drivers is seen as a key measure in reducing road deaths. Access to breathalysers of agreed standards across Europe is key to this. To accurately calibrate these breathalysers, there is a need for standardised test gases similar to human breath with defined concentrations of alcohol.

Currently, only two European NMIs produce such gases.


The project has built production capabilities for ethanol/water reference materials and analytical methods for quantifying ethanol in water at NMIs/DIs across Europe, allowing them to reproducibly create alcohol reference materials traceable to the SI.

Each NMI has developed a strategy for the long-term development of their measurement and production capabilities, aligned with a European wide approach.

Wider access to certified reference materials will allow manufacturers of breathalysers to meet common standards and so support better enforcement of drink driving laws across Europe.


Project website
Certified reference materials for breath alcohol control - the ALCOREF project

19th International Congress of Metrology (CIM2019)

Other Participants
Independent Authority for Public Revenue (Greece)
Uniwersytet Warszawski (Poland)
Valstybinis mokslinių tyrimų institutas Fizinių ir technologijos mokslų centras (Lithuania)