Information on Alcohol Breath Test Levels

Celebrations that include alcohol consumption are a massive part of many cultures. Social events will not be complete without alcoholic beverages. However, with the prevalence of alcohol at social events or gatherings comes the risk of drink/ drunk driving. In Australia, Drinking Under the Influence (DUI) charges are taken very seriously. Thus, Australians should not drive at a 0.05% Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) or higher. It is the national alcohol limit in Australia. Consequently, going over the legal alcohol breath test levels constitutes a criminal penalty. These penalties could include fines, licence suspensions, driving disqualifications, prison terms and alcohol interlock orders. 

Unfortunately, most people do not know how to stay under the limit while drinking alcohol. Alcohol quickly impairs the senses, perception, and judgment depending on the type of beverage and concentration. Luckily, owning a device such as a personal breathalyser can accurately inform an individual of their alcohol breath test levels. Moreover, Breathalysers Australia offers a variety of BACtrack personal breathalysers that suits any need for self BAC monitoring.

What is Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), and How Are They Measured?

Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC for short, is the measure of the amount of alcohol found circulating in a person’s blood. Hence, the BAC of an individual is basically the level of intoxication they have after consuming alcohol. Moreover, it is calculated in terms of grams per 100 millilitres (mL) of blood. Furthermore, alcohol breath test levels are in percentage. Thus, a BAC level of 0.05 means that a person’s blood is 0.05% alcohol by volume. 

To accurately measure individuals’ alcohol breath test levels, the most reliable method is using a breathalyser. A breathalyser is an alcohol breath testing device that processes and estimates the BAC from a breath sample. Accordingly, a person will only need to provide an adequate breath sample by blowing into the device’s sterilised mouthpiece. Afterwhich, the device will be able to show an accurate estimation of the individual’s BAC, usually via an LED display on the device.


Factors That Affect Alcohol Breath Test Levels

Various factors can affect a person’s alcohol breath test levels, and they vary depending on the person. Namely, these factors include:

Individual Factors

  • Body weight or mass
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Body fat content or percentage
  • Digestion or metabolism rate
  • Hydration level

Circumstances of Alcohol Consumption

  • Amount of standard drinks
  • Time and spacing of drinks
  • Speed of drinking

Compounding Substances

  • Use of medications and other drugs

Although alcohol affects individuals differently, each BAC level has common impairment symptoms. In general, a BAC level between 0.01 to 0.04% has mild effects on the body. Consequently, this level lowers inhibitions and slows down reaction time. Moreover, at 0.05-0.07%, judgment, reasoning, and perception impairments are apparent. Driving at this level is already hazardous. Lastly, at 0.08% or higher, your coordination and balance are off with slurred speech and motor skill impairments. Therefore, under no circumstances should anyone drive at high alcohol breath test levels. In addition, for more detailed effects of each of the alcohol breath test levels, you may refer to the following list below.

Different Effects of Varying Alcohol Breath Test Levels

0.01 – 0.03% BAC 

  • Slight warmer feeling
  • Increased relaxation
  • Some loss of judgement
  • Sense of well being
  • Loss of inhibition

0.04 – 0.06% BAC

  • Exaggerated speech (such as speaking louder and gesturing more)
  • Slight loss of small muscle control
  • Blurrier vision
  • Lower alertness
  • Impaired judgement

0.07 – 0.09% BAC

  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of keenness in vision and hearing
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Loss of balance
  • Slower reaction times
  • Impaired judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory

0.10 – 0.12% BAC

  • All negative effects are amplified
  • Further deterioration of capabilities

0.13 – 0.15% BAC

  • Potentially acquiring dysphoria (anxiety or restlessness)

0.16 – 0.19% BAC

  • Dysphoria symptoms will amplify
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty walking

0.20 – 0.29% BAC

  • Dazed, confused, and disoriented
  • Loss of balance and muscle control
  • Numbness
  • Nausea and vomiting are more likely
  • Blackouts may occur

0.30 – 0.39% BAC

  • Increased heart rate 
  • More likelihood of unconsciousness 
  • Irregular breathing
  • Loss of bladder control

0.40% BAC and over

  • Increased likelihood of coma or death by respiratory failure

Purpose of Self-testing to Determine Alcohol Breath Test Levels

Knowing alcohol breath test levels can help you keep your consumption in control. Moreover, you could lose track of your alcohol consumption without constant BAC checking. Therefore, you must check your alcohol content regularly to help you stay aware of your current state. To illustrate, after one standard drink, you can measure your BAC through a breathalyser to see how much your alcohol level has increased. To get accurate results, make sure you wait 20 mins after your first drink before breath tests. Furthermore, some people are sometimes surprised to learn how quickly their alcohol concentration jumps from zero to near or over the legal limit. Thus, being able to monitor one’s BAC level at a moment’s notice can not only prevent DUI charges but could also indirectly save lives.

Hence, it is imperative not only to be able to know the alcohol breath test levels but also to do so with complete reliability. Conveniently, there are now highly effective personal breath testers in the market like the BACtrack breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia. These breathalysers guarantee accurate results. In addition, Breathalysers Australia has various devices in their personal breathalyser section ideal for self BAC monitoring applications.


BACtrack Personal Breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia

Breathalysers Australia’s BACtrack breathalysers use advanced sensor technology to give precise and reliable alcohol breath test levels. Additionally, the fuel cell sensors in these breathalysers are the exact sensors you can find in a police officer’s breathalyser. All BACtrack personal breathalysers are small, compact and highly accurate.

Subsequently, Breathalysers Australia offers the BACtrack keychain series to increase portability further. These breathalysers can easily attach to any keys, belt, bag or purse. Moreover, the BACtrack smartphone series breathalysers can turn any iOS or Android into an alcohol breath tester via Bluetooth thru an app. Then, once connected with the BACtrack app, users can make use of the ZeroLine® technology. This feature can estimate how long a user’s BAC returns to 0.00%. Lastly, for those who want absolute accuracy when determining alcohol breath test levels, the BACtrack professional series breathalysers are a perfect choice. These breathalysers deliver the most accurate and consistent BAC results.


It is better to take every precaution to help improve safety. Knowing your alcohol breath test levels can drastically help with better decision making after alcohol consumption. Moreover, understanding how alcohol can affect your perception, senses, and, most significantly, your driving abilities can make a huge difference in staying safe. Furthermore, through responsible use of a reliable personal breathalyser, you can protect yourself and others from the dangers of drink/ drunk driving. Thus, it is most certainly a wise choice to invest in one or more of the BACtrack personal breathalysers available at Breathalysers Australia.