Fever/Elevated Temperature

Fever or elevated body temperature produces an appearance that can be similar to the indicia of intoxication and weakness that negatively impacts upon performance.

An elevation of temperature is known to elevate the results on evidentiary breath testing. (Glyn R. Fox, PhD and John S. Hayward, PhD, “Effect of Hyperthermia on Breath Alcohol Analysis”, Journal of Forensic Sciences, JFSCA, Vol. 34, No. 4, July 1989, pp. 836-841.) Warm air holds more water vapor than cold air. The water vapor humidifies the air sharing its alcohol content as it does so. This comports with the origin of the alcohol in the breath specimen as described by Michael P. Hlastala, PhD.,in the peer reviewed journal article entitled “Pardigm Shift for the Alcohol Breath Testing”, which appeared in the Forensic Science, in March 2010, Volume, 55 No. 2.

Therefore, increased temperature produces increased alcohol in the breath specimen changing the ratio between the amount of alcohol in the blood and the amount of alcohol in the breath specimen such that the breath specimen has a higher alcohol content and which is not representative of the blood alcohol level.

{Observations/Psychophysicals and breath test}.