How does an Alcohol Breathalyzer Work?

An alcohol breathalyzer, also known as an alcohol breath analyzer, is a portable device used to check a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). Law enforcers commonly use it to help them distinguish a driver’s toxicity level; and whether they can legally drive or not. These devices help prevent or identify alcohol-induced road accidents. An alcohol breathalyzer can also be used in the workplace, like the BACtrack workplace breathalyzer, to help monitor the soberness and maintain the safety of their employees. Despite not being the most accurate when compared to urine and blood testing, a breath alcohol test is typically one of the quickest and easiest to do; especially on the go.  

An alcohol breathalyzer can easily monitor the BAC of an individual; with most results taking only a few seconds to process. All that needs to be done by an individual during a breath alcohol test is to blow into the sterile tube of the device and wait for the results; this is one of the main reasons why this is what officers would typically use, especially for testing drivers. Alcohol goes into the stomach and small intestine and quickly gets absorbed in the blood. Alcohol breath-testing devices like the BACtrack breathalyzer uses the amount of alcohol in the exhaled breath to accurately calculate the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood. It can be done within minutes after having an alcoholic drink (15 minutes after consumption up to 24hours).  

Alcohol breathalyzers and BAC

The BAC can then be used to identify the severity of effects alcohol will have on a person. A BAC level of up to 0.05% would mean that the person is most likely experiencing mild coordination, memory, awareness, and motor function impairments. A BAC of 0.06% up to 0.15% would present moderate impairments along with significant driving difficulties. This monitors whether the driving can still legally drive. A BAC of over 0.05% through an alcohol breathalyzer test while driving is deemed illegal in Australia and is punishable by law. The severity of the penalties would depend on how high your BAC is when caught.  

The penalties of having a high BAC when driving could span from fines and confiscation of licenses up to impounding of a driver’s vehicle. With repeat offenders possibly going to jail. Reliable alcohol breathalyzer devices like the BACtrack breathalyzer are available to help individuals monitor their BAC; which helps check whether they can legally drive. It can help the individual’s safety and prevent issues with law enforcers and their severe DUI charges. 


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