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PROPOSED DEPT. OF TRANS. ALCOHOL TESTING REGULATIONS NEED A CHANGE TO PROTECT EMPLOYEES AND EMPLOYERS AGAINST FALSE POSITIVE READINGS

 RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by U.S. Alcohol Testing of America Inc. (AMEX: AAA):
 The new regulations proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) as part of the Omnibus Transportation Act for alcohol testing within the transportation industry requires the alcohol tests be performed using an instrument listed on the "Conforming Products List of Evidential Breath Testing Devices." The proposed rule printed in the Federal Register, Dec. 15, 1992, states, "Instruments on this list enjoy wide acceptance in the judicial community and have met court scrutiny for precision and accuracy." This is simply not true. While it is so for some of the products, it certainly is not true for all of them.
 What the D.O.T. is failing to take into consideration is that breath analyzers are going to end up under even greater court scrutiny than when used in forensic testing once employees start losing their jobs based on test results. Some of the instruments which usually hold up in court now will be much less successful then.
 Why the difference? Because almost all of the instruments on the Conforming Products List are not specific for ethyl alcohol, and the regulation requires that the breath test measure the level of "ethyl alcohol." In forensic testing, a low percentage of those arrested challenge the results, and when they do, many judges in the criminal court system do not allow the specificity of the instrument to be questioned. This will not be the case in a civil suit when a person stands to lose his livelihood, especially when the environment in which he works may contain a carbon-based product, such as toluene found in solvents, glues and paints, which cannot be distinguished from ethyl alcohol in the instrument on which he was tested. Many of the products on the Conforming List cannot make those distinctions.
 When testing for drugs, most screening methods provide results better than 98 percent accurate; yet, both industry and forensic testing require confirmation by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) in an independent laboratory to eliminate any possibility that an interfering substance caused a positive test.
 The proposed rules for testing for alcohol are allowing devices with a lower accuracy percentage than many drug screening systems to be called "evidential" without allowing for independent confirmation. The results could be appalling if an innocent person lost his/her job without the unequivocal confirmation.
 So what is the answer? Without requiring blood samples for confirmation, there is only one. The Department of Transportation is well aware of inexpensive collection devices which retain breath samples, allowing for future independent laboratory analysis. This analysis performed on a gas chromatograph will provide results specific for ethyl alcohol.
 The use of these inexpensive collection devices will:
 1) Provide unbiased test confirmation;
 2) Protect the employee should the screening test report a false positive reading;
 3) Protect the employer by providing excellent evidence known to hold up to court challenges; and
 4) Combine the benefits of non-invasive breath testing with the low-level accuracy, specificity and independency of laboratory analysis by gas chromatography.
 The reason these devices are not on the Conforming Products List is because D.O.T. is only required to test and approve electronic devices, according to their protocol.
 These collection devices need to be included in the D.O.T. proposal for the protection of both the employer and the employee. Those affected by the regulation must voice their opinions to the Department of Transportation before April 14 to:
 Donna Smith
 Office of Drug Enforcement & Program Compliance
 Department of Transportation
 400 Seventh St., SW, Room 9404
 Washington, DC 20590
 Addresses specific to individual industries affected by the regulation (i.e., FAA, FHWA, FTA, FRA, RSPA) are available from U.S. Alcohol Testing of America Inc.
 U.S. Alcohol Testing of America Inc. is a manufacturer of evidential breath testing equipment with products on the "Conforming Products List of Evidential Breath Testing Devices" and has provided alcohol testing devices for more than 30 years. The company, through the Technology Transfer Act, recently signed a licensing agreement with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). This agreement grants the company exclusive rights to develop and market drug testing equipment utilizing patents secured by scientists at NRL. U.S. Alcohol Testing is a publicly traded company on the American Stock Exchange with a listed symbol of AAA.
 -0- 2/18/93
 /CONTACT: Karen Laustsen of U.S. Alcohol Testing of America, 800-753-4625/
 (AAA)


CO: U.S. Alcohol Testing of America ST: California IN: SU:

LS-JL -- LA063 -- 8194 02/18/93 19:16 EST
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Date:Feb 18, 1993
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