Everything You Need to Know About Breathalysers: An Alcohol Measuring Device

Alcohol is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. Its affordability and availability make it easy for anyone to access alcohol at any time and place. Likewise, many people drink alcohol regularly after work hours or on days off. However, excessive amounts lead to severe impairment in sensory and motor functions. A person also stays intoxicated depending on the intake. For example, the more you consume, the longer it takes for the body to burn off alcohol completely. Thus, many people drive or work while impaired. In consequence, it leads to high cases of road and workplace accidents. It has led to the need for an effective alcohol measuring device to limit the negative impacts of impairment. 

Law enforcement uses a breathalyser to apprehend intoxicated drivers. A breathalyser is a handheld alcohol measuring device to estimate a person’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). Its high cost used to be exclusive for police officers. However, breathalysers have become more affordable for individual uses over the years. As a result, regular consumers can now get similar devices that police use from Breathalysers Australia to monitor their BAC levels. Additionally, it has helped people monitor their alcohol levels from going over the legal limit (0.05%). Their availability has significantly reduced drink driving and accidents.

Breathalysers: The Importance of an Alcohol Measuring Device

People used to rely on guess estimates when assessing their ability to drive safely. However, without an accurate alcohol measuring device, many people take risks and operate a vehicle while impaired. Despite a minimal amount, alcohol affects vision, hearing, reasoning, reaction time, and coordination. Fortunately, breathalysers like the BACtrack help people moderate their intake. Their use provides benefits for the following instances:

  • Set a consumption limit
  • Check the BAC before driving to avoid accidents or legal charges
  • Monitor impairment in the workplace
  • Determine the alcohol level after an accident
  • For alcohol screening at home
  • Requirements in rehabilitation centres


Breathalysers: Functions and Types

A breathalyser is an alcohol measuring device that estimates the concentration in the blood through the breath. The device consists of sensors that analyse the breath sample to calculate the BAC. When we ingest alcohol, portions reach different body parts through the bloodstream, where they stay for definite periods. Particularly, alcohol molecules reach the lungs, where they vaporise and exit through exhalation. When we blow to a breathalyser, it captures and processes the breath sample containing alcohol. The sensors undergo a chemical process to oxidise alcohol and convert it to BAC. There are three main types of breathalysers:

  • Semiconductor – The breathalyser uses an oxide sensor to measure the reactivity between the tin dioxide and alcohol molecules. The low cost of semiconductor sensors makes it ideal as a personal breathalyser.
  • Fuel cell – The device utilises platinum fuel cells to oxidise alcohol. When the fuel cell sensors contact ethanol, they produce small electrical voltages. The more alcohol is present leads to the higher reading. It is the technology that law enforcement use in roadside screenings. 
  • Spectrophotometer – The device makes use of infrared sensors to measure alcohol content. It is typically bigger and more expensive than semiconductor and fuel cell breathalysers. This alcohol measuring device is often found in a police station or laboratory and is used for evidential breath testing. 

The Accuracy of Breathalysers

People rely on an alcohol measuring device to make safety decisions. Therefore, a breathalyser’s accuracy is critical. Fuel cell breathalysers have higher accuracy, sensitivity, and reliability than semiconductor sensors. Particularly, fuel cell sensors are specific to ethyl alcohol and do not react with other substances in the breath. As a result, there is less likelihood of registering a false positive result, especially for people with diabetes or a low-calorie diet. Additionally, fuel cell breathalysers maintain their consistency despite consecutive tests. They can accurately trace alcohol concentration from 0.000 to 0.400 BAC ranges. This means it can detect BAC even if you consume a small amount of alcohol or measure high-level BAC without losing its precision. Lastly, fuel cell breathalysers have a long life cycle.


Breathalysers: Limitations and Misconceptions of Alcohol Measuring Devices

Breathalysers are beneficial across many industries. The alcohol measuring device is a proven deterrent of alcohol misuse and prevents drink driving incidents. However, despite its uses, it is not exempt from some limitations and misconceptions. For instance, semiconductor breathalysers interact with alcohol compounds such as fumes in the air or alcohol-based products. Thus, it can result in inaccurate readings. On the other hand, fuel cell breathalysers are only reactive with ethanol. However, it cannot detect if the breath sample comes from deep lung air or mouth residue. To ensure accurate readings, wait at least twenty minutes after eating, drinking, or smoking. Moreover, the following misconceptions about breathalysers are said to lower the BAC:

  • Breath fresheners, mouthwash, toothpaste, or breath mints
  • Eating peanut butter
  • Sucking on a penny or garlic
  • Holding the breath before a test

These misconceptions are proven false and do not cause lower BAC results. Likewise, modern breathalysers use sophisticated technology to get precise BAC readings. Most alcohol measuring devices at Breathalysers Australia use fuel cell sensor technology to estimate the BAC accurately. Furthermore, police officers ensure that you do not put anything in your mouth before taking a breathalyser test. Instead, you can use a personal breathalyser to know how alcohol affects your body. It helps people make informed decisions concerning consumption or driving. 

Features of Alcohol Measuring Devices at Breathalysers Australia

Many people get a personal alcohol measuring device to avoid accidents or getting a DUI charge. Therefore, numerous breathalysers have become available in the market. Choosing from different kinds can be overwhelming. Thus, it is important to know the various features of breathalysers to make the right purchase decisions. Breathalysers Australia offers a wide range of BACtrack alcohol testers to suit particular needs. For example, the BACtrack’s professional series is excellent if you depend on high accuracy. The BACtrack S80 Pro, Mobile Pro, Scout, and Trace Pro are highly-rated breathalysers suitable for high-volume use. Furthermore, they have FDA approval and DOT certification, meeting all requirements for a breath screening device. 

Breathalysers Australia also offers breathalysers with smartphone connectivity. The BACtrack C6 Keychain, C8 Smartphone, and Mobile Pro connect to a mobile phone via Bluetooth. You may view your BAC results directly on your smartphone. Additionally, the BACtrack companion app enables you to record and track your BAC results in a graph. Furthermore, the BACtrack smartphone breathalyser has ZeroLine technology, quickly estimating when your BAC will return to 0.00%. It is useful in monitoring the decline of your BAC. Lastly, the BACtrack breathalysers have a one-touch button for quick and easy use. Simply press the power button to begin breath testing. An alcohol measuring device like the BACtrack enables you to moderate consumption. Investing in a reliable device is essential to remain safe and minimise risks.