Alco Sense vs BACtrack Breathalysers: A Comparison Guide
24 September, 2023
Consumers use portable breathalysers to help them monitor their alcohol consumption to keep their alcohol levels in check. The two breathalysers that many use are Alco Sense and BACtrack. These devices measure Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), or the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream. They offer various types of devices, ranging from personal units to professional-grade testing devices. However, they may differ in features, such as delivery times, testing capacity, and connectivity.
Impaired or drink driving is one of the leading factors of traffic accidents and injuries. Excessive alcohol consumption impairs a person’s ability to drive safely, as it affects concentration, perception, reaction time, and coordination. Therefore, many people use a breathalyser to check their BAC level before driving. In this article, we will compare the two breathalysers in terms of their features and accuracy, battery life, and ease of use.
Alco Sense vs BACtrack Breathalysers: Device Features and Accuracy
Alco Sense offers various types of breathalysers for personal and professional use. Most devices utilise fuel cell sensors to deliver reliable alcohol readings. Moreover, their features include an LCD display, low battery indication, error notifications, and auto power off. More advanced units include calibration reminders, storage memory, and smartphone connectivity.
BACtrack breathalysers offer a huge range of devices to suit various testing needs. This includes low-cost keychain alcohol testers, smartphone breathalysers, and workplace breathalysers. Their features include one-touch operation, an optimal breath capture system, and proprietary sensing technology. Furthermore, the Professional series of BACtrack includes adjustable settings, storage capacity, and up to three decimal place readings for enhanced accuracy.
Both breathalysers have a BAC range of 0.00 to 0.40%. This means it can measure the BAC over a complete range of alcohol expected in the breath. In addition, it can trace alcohol in lower concentration levels and measure the BAC in high levels without losing their accuracy. As a result, it helps to give more precise results, which helps in making informed decisions.
Types of Sensor Technology
- Fuel cell sensor: this technology relies on a chemical reaction between alcohol and platinum electrodes. The reaction produces small electrical currents, which are then measured to determine the BAC in the breath.
- Semiconductor sensor: this technology determines BAC by measuring changes in electrical resistance between alcohol molecules and metal oxide sensors. The output in resistance is converted into a BAC amount.
- Infrared spectroscopy sensor: this technology uses infrared light to detect and measure alcohol molecules in the breath based on their absorption of specific wavelengths of light. Devices that use this sensor are larger in size compared to fuel cell and semiconductor sensors.
Alco Sense vs BACtrack Breathalysers: Response Time
The response time refers to the duration after sample collection and the delivery of results. Breath testing provides the fastest results among other alcohol testing methods. Breathalysers can give the results in seconds compared to minutes in saliva and urine screening and hours for blood testing. Hence, these compact devices are the most convenient for checking the BAC.
The response time for Alco Sense breathalysers ranges from 5 to 22 seconds, with the high-end units providing the quickest results. In comparison, BACtrack breathalysers offer a response time of 3 to 15 seconds. In both cases, the actual testing time may also depend on ambient temperature and the sensor technology.
Furthermore, the recycle time in breathalysers may range from seconds to minutes. This refers to the duration it takes for the device to reset and be ready for another use. A fast recycle time enables individuals to retest more quickly. This is crucial for devices used in professional settings that need back-to-back testing.
The battery life of breathalysers can last for months, depending on several factors. The type of battery and frequency of use can impact its longevity. Moreover, most portable devices use alkaline batteries, which tend to last longer and discharge better than their non-alkaline counterparts.
Another type is a lithium rechargeable battery. An advantage of this type is that it can be recharged in a short time, saving costs on constant replacements. It is important to check the battery level regularly to ensure accurate readings. For AA batteries, replace them regularly or remove them when not in use.
Alco Sense vs BACtrack Breathalysers: Ease of Use
Ease of use is one of the key factors of breathalysers. It is intended to be easily accessible so individuals can check their BAC without complicated procedures. Alco Sense breathalysers feature a one-touch button for easy operation. A LED light and sound indicate when the device is ready to use.
BACtrack breathalysers also feature a one-button control, which simplifies the testing process. After pressing the power button, the device automatically warms up the sensors and initiates a countdown timer. Then, users can blow into the device to receive the results in seconds. Additionally, Bluetooth-enabled breathalysers, like the BACtrack Mobile Pro, deliver the BAC results directly to the smartphone for convenient reading.
The short warm-up and recycle time of BACtrack breathalysers make it easy for individuals to retest quickly. It also displays the results on a brightly lit screen for easy viewing in low-light environments. Furthermore, individuals can set the alarm to sound off when the BAC has reached a certain limit. Lastly, more features help enhance the user experience.
Convenience and Portability
The convenience and portability of breathalysers make them an ideal tool for individuals who regularly consume alcohol. Personal breathalysers are lightweight devices that fit easily in a pocket or purse. Thus, they are easy to carry around and use. In addition, their one-touch operation enables breath testing in seconds and receives immediate feedback.
Most devices come with replaceable mouthpieces that can be stored in the unit or carried separately. This ensures hygienic use and eliminates cross-contamination between users. The mouthpieces are washable, making them easy to clean and reuse. Lastly, they are reusable and durable, making them cost-effective compared to single-use testing devices.
Breathalysers provide a fast and easy way to measure Blood Alcohol Concentration or BAC. They are reliable tools to monitor alcohol consumption and help prevent severe impairments. Among the reliable devices are Alco Sense and BACtrack breathalysers. They offer convenience, fast response, and ease of use. The accuracy of these breathalysers depends on the quality of sensors, most of which use fuel cell technology. Likewise, advanced breathalysers include more functions, such as smartphone connectivity and sobriety tracking.
Breathalysers provide fast response times of 3 to 20 seconds. This enables individuals to know their BAC level immediately and make informed decisions. Moreover, it is vital to use fresh or fully charged batteries to ensure optimal performance. Regular maintenance and cleaning of the device are also necessary to ensure accurate results. With proper usage, individuals can ensure peace of mind with their consumption habits. Lastly, remember that breathalysers are only meant to aid in responsible drinking.