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  • Stephen Biss

Wet-bath Simulator Serial Number

If you are a criminal defence lawyer in a Canadian province where wet-bath alcohol standard is used, always ask for the serial number of the wet-bath simulator used by the Qualified Technician for your client's subject tests. Section 320.31(1)(a) of Canada's Criminal Code, requires that a system calibration check during the subject tests be tied to a Certificate of an Analyst, i.e. a particular bottle of alcohol standard that is a member of a box that is part of the lot certified by the Analyst. Yet it was probably a different officer that changed the alcohol standard a few days or a week prior. How will the QT in your case have knowledge of continuity unless there is careful documentation?


Knowing the serial number of the wet-bath simulator at solution change and at the time of subject tests is essential to BAC reliability because an alcohol standard in a wet-bath simulator is used in Ontario and Quebec during every evidentiary breath test. If the simulator containing alcohol standard is switched between the alcohol standard change and the subject breath tests then you can't be sure of the identity or the reliability of the alcohol standard. Documentation of continuity of the alcohol standard and the simulator is essential.


Every time that a Qualified Technician uses a wet-bath simulator, he or she should document the simulator in his or her notes. Every time that a Qualified Technician changes the liquid alcohol standard in a wet-bath simulator, he or she should document the simulator in his or her notes. Every time that a Qualified Technician uses an approved instrument associated with a wet-bath simulator, he or she should document the simulator in his or her notes. Although the printout from the approved instrument probably identifies the serial number of the approved instrument, it probably doesn't identify the serial number of the wet-bath simulator used during the subject tests.


Because the wet-bath simulator and the approved instrument are two separate instruments, they can easily be separated from each other by disconnecting two tubes with simple quick connects. For example, a police officer using one Intoxilyzer with a wet-bath simulator attached, running to a hospital or experiencing problems with the first simulator, may decide to "borrow" a different wet-bath simulator (with or without alcohol standard inside) from another Intoxilyzer or from the desk where Aprroved Screening Devices are being verified. It's very easy to switch and sometimes necessary.


A police officer who carefully records the serial number of every wet-bath simulator that he or she is using will face less challenges to their notes in Court.

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