Information on Taking an Alcohol Breath Analyser Test

How does an alcohol breath analyser test work? 

The individual undergoing the test will be required to breathe into a breathalyzer through a disposable mouthpiece. The breathalyzer’s sensors will then measure the alcohol content of the individual’s breath sample. A person can be charged for drink driving if their blood alcohol content is 0.05 or higher. 

Device accuracy 

The accuracy of the device results will depend on how the device senses the alcohol breath content. Most devices used for alcohol breath analyser tests are accurate when used appropriately. There are different kinds of device sensors used in breathalyzer units. Fuel cell devices are more expensive but give better and more accurate results and typically last longer than semiconductor-type devices.  

Ensure the reading is accurate 

Before conducting an alcohol breath analyser test, you should wait at least 20 minutes after your last drink before testing. You must ensure that the mouthpiece is clean. Hyperventilation may affect the readings, so make sure that you breathe normally. It would be best if you blew slow and steady into the device’s mouthpiece until the breathalyzer unit signals you to stop. 

Portable alcohol breath analyser test devices are not foolproof, but these devices will give you a relatively accurate BAC result. 

How to use a breathalyzer for an alcohol breath analyser test

If you have a BACtrack breathalyzer device, here are some basic steps and instructions to follow. Before taking an alcohol breath analyser test, ensure that you follow the instructions correctly and wait at least 20 minutes after your last drink before. You mustn’t blow smoke or any other fumes into the device, which may damage the sensor. Steps to follow: 

  • Ensure that the mouthpiece attached to the unit is clean. 
  • Turn on the breathalyzer unit. 
  • Wait for the advised time for the device to get ready, and it is usually only 5-10 seconds depending on your breathalyzer unit. 
  • Ensure that you blow slow and steady into the mouthpiece until the device tells you to stop; to get an accurate reading. An audible beeping sound is usually heard.  
  • The device will show the results of the breath sample within 10 seconds. If you have a breathalyzer unit that connects to your smartphone, some breathalyzer units will even show how long it takes before you are sober. 
  • BACtrack devices usually turn off by themselves after a couple of minutes. 
  • Your breathalyzer will show if the alcohol breath analyser test has failed. Typically, it may be because of not blowing long enough or hard enough to get a decent breath sample when this happens. It would be best if you tried testing again after waiting a few minutes. 
  • If you believe that repeated results aren’t accurate and not what you expect, you may need to send your breathalyzer unit back for recalibration service. 


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