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The 2023 Ultimate Guide to BACtrack Breathalysers

15 December, 2022

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Alcohol is one of the most widely consumed beverages worldwide. It is ingrained in several cultures and an intrinsic part of many festivities. People also enjoy alcohol consumption in solitary or in the company of others. It can give pleasant sensations when taken moderately. However, excessive amounts can cause severe impairments. It can affect the senses, reasoning, and motor functions necessary for responsible driving. Moreover, individuals with a high level of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) are more likely to endanger themselves and others. Despite this, some people continue to drive after heavy consumption. Consequently, this calls for a well-grounded and precise system to determine the blood alcohol level in real time. Thus, the BACtrack breathalysers are created to help individuals check their BAC before driving rather than later at a police stop. 

Many people feel the intoxicating effects of alcohol within minutes of consumption. However, alcohol affects everyone differently due to their tolerance levels. For example, some people may feel dizzy after one drink, while others can handle more. Therefore, it is difficult to determine a person’s impairment degree by relying on counting standard drinks alone. Moreover, any alcohol content in the blood poses a safety risk. Thus, a reliable blood alcohol calculator like the BACtrack breathalyser from Breathalysers Australia can help objectively assess a person’s ability to drive or work. This guide will talk about the impacts of alcohol and how breathalysers work so that you can make informed decisions about the best alcohol breath tester for you. 

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What is a BACtrack Breathalyser?

A breathalyser is an electronic measuring device that can estimate the per cent of alcohol in the blood through breath samples. The first practical breath analyser was called the drunkometer. It is used by law enforcement to apprehend suspected drink drivers. If the police believe you are driving impaired, they will ask you to pull over and perform a field sobriety test. It includes blowing into a handheld device the size of a mobile phone to measure the BAC. The breathalyser analyses the breath sample through sensors and shows the BAC level on the screen. However, those devices were expensive; thus, they were only used by police officers. Over the years, breathalyser technology improved, making them more affordable for consumer use. The BACtrack breathalyser was one of the first to offer highly accurate and reliable BAC monitoring tools for personal use. 

Before personal breathalysers were available, it was difficult for individuals to check their BAC. Additionally, some people believe they can drive safely despite consuming alcohol. Unfortunately, these assumptions can result in road incidents. Therefore, it is essential to have a reliable device to gauge how much alcohol is in your system before it is too late. The BACtrack devices from Breathalysers Australia provide a robust BAC checking system capable of real-time updates. Moreover, the BACtrack breathalyser offers the following benefits:

  • Moderate the alcohol intake
  • Keep the BAC from exceeding the legal limit
  • Prevent drink driving charges
  • Reduce roadside and workplace accidents
  • Better alcohol awareness

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The BACtrack Breathalyser: Knowing Your BAC

Many people consume alcohol at the end of the day or week to relieve stress and tension. However, high doses can lead to adverse health effects and safety risks. Moreover, health experts share that intoxication starts at the first sip. Therefore, knowing how alcohol affects your body is important to help you make informed decisions. Alcohol is a depressant that slows down the messages of the nervous system to the brain. As a result, it affects normal body functions. When alcohol enters the body, it passes from the stomach to the small intestines and the bloodstream. Then, the alcohol in the blood enters the lungs, where they rapidly vaporise and exits through exhalation. A BACtrack breathalyser captures the exhaled air and determines the BAC. 

The body’s rapid absorption of alcohol causes the BAC to rise quickly. Additionally, the more you consume, the higher the BAC or the impairment level. Furthermore, many factors can influence the increase of the BAC level. It includes weight, age, gender, body type, food and water content, and medications. Fortunately, the BACtrack breathalyser can measure the BAC without guessing estimates. Generally, different BAC ranges have the following effects:

  • 0.010-0.039%: slight euphoria, relaxation, and lower inhibition
  • 0.040-0.059%: minor impairment of judgment and senses. Lowering of caution
  • 0.060-0.099%: impairment in vision, hearing, speech, balance, memory, and reaction time
  • 0.100 and above: significant impairment in motor functions, nausea, and vomiting

How Does a Breathalyser Work?

As previously mentioned, alcohol enters the lungs through the bloodstream. Then, ethanol moves by passive diffusion to the surrounding air sacs, called alveoli. Studies show that the alcohol concentration in the alveoli or lower portion of the lungs is proportionate to the concentration of alcohol in the blood at a ratio of 2100:1. Thus, all breath testing devices use the blood-to-breath ratio to get an accurate BAC calculation. The BACtrack breathalysers capture the deep lung air and process it through the sensors. Then, the sensors undergo a chemical reaction to get the Breath Alcohol Content (BrAC) and convert it to Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). The BAC is calculated in grams per 100ml of blood or 210 litres of breath. Furthermore, the BACtrack breathalysers use advanced technology to get the appropriate breath samples and produce precise BAC results.

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BACtrack Breathalysers: Guide to Sensor Types

Each breath testing device utilises sensor technology to process the breath samples. The accuracy of the breath test results depends on each sensor’s performance. Therefore, knowing the sensor types is essential before getting a personal breathalyser. You may find two types of sensors when looking at a personal device like a BACtrack breathalyser. These are the following breathalyser sensors and their properties:

  • Semiconductor sensor – typically found in personal breathalysers because of its low cost. It uses a tin-oxide compound to generate an electric current when it contacts alcohol. However, this sensor is not specific to ethanol and can respond to other gases like acetone in the breath. Therefore, there is a chance of producing a false-positive result when the breath test is not conducted properly. A semiconductor sensor is ideal for low-volume use and alcohol detection. 
  • Fuel cell sensor – platinum fuel cell sensors are more expensive than semiconductor sensors. The breathalyser uses two platinum electrodes which oxidise ethanol in the breath. Moreover, it does not interact with other substances, reducing the likelihood of false positives. This is the sensor technology police officers use because of its high precision. Most BACtrack personal breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia also use fuel cell sensors. 
  • Infrared Spectroscopy – IR spectroscopy is less common than semiconductor and fuel cell breathalysers. It uses infrared absorption technology to analyse alcohol molecules. It is also bulkier and the most expensive. You may find this breathalyser at police stations for evidential breath testing. 

Kinds of Breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia

Breathalysers today are not just a detection tool used by police officers in roadside inspections. There are many uses of a breathalyser to help improve safety in various settings. Breathalysers Australia offers an extensive range of BACtrack breathalysers for personal and professional purposes. Firstly, the BACtrack personal breathalysers come with distinct features suiting different needs or preferences. You may choose devices with keychain rings, smartphone connectivity, or pro-grade models. Thus, they can help serve various needs. For example, many people use a BACtrack breathalyser to monitor the changes in their BAC level during alcohol consumption. It helps keep individuals from exceeding the legal limit and avoid drink driving charges. Similarly, people may use a personal breathalyser to confirm if a family member has consumed even a small amount of alcohol.

The second type of breathalyser at Breathalysers Australia is the workplace breathalyser. These are BACtrack breathalysers specially engineered to meet the rigorous testing requirements of industries and other commercial environments. Alcohol impairment is one of the top factors of workplace accidents and fatalities. Likewise, impaired employees cannot perform tasks well as they have reduced concentration or ability to operate the equipment. As a result, it lowers productivity and incurs high costs. Therefore, companies employ alcohol breath testing to help manage safety hazards brought by alcohol misuse. The BACtrack workplace breathalysers help employers monitor the employees’ alcohol levels at any time. 

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Considerations When Buying a Breathalyser

A breathalyser device is valuable in improving safety when going out for drinks. Having an alcohol tester in the pocket can make a huge difference. Therefore, the right device, like a BACtrack breathalyser, is a worthy investment as you can use them for a long time. When choosing a breathalyser, you may consider the following guide:

  • Sensor – accuracy is the foremost consideration when getting a breathalyser. Each sensor has a different margin of error. Typically, fuel cell breathalysers are more accurate than semiconductor breathalysers.
  • Cost – semiconductor breathalysers are more affordable. However, fuel cell breathalysers have better performance and reliability. In addition, breathalysers with advanced features would cost more. Therefore, you may evaluate what you need most to get the best value.
  • Purpose – selecting a breathalyser will depend on user intent. A compact device is ideal for personal or low-volume use. Meanwhile, workplaces will get a breathalyser with industrial-grade fuel cell sensors.
  • Recalibration – all breathalysers require recalibration as the sensors may drift over time. Different sensor types will also vary with their recalibration periods. Breathalysers Australia offers complete services for all units sold.
  • Mouthpieces – some breathalysers will have removable mouthpieces, while others do not. Removable mouthpieces are beneficial for sharing the device without compromising the results. 
  • Certification – breathalysers with certification from FDA, DOT and Australian Standards mean they have passed the requirements of an effective breath screening device. 

Alcohol and Drink Driving

Alcohol-impaired driving is a top factor in road traffic accidents or car crashes in Australia. Hence, Australia has strict laws about drinking alcohol and driving. The legal limit for alcohol in Australia at 0.05% BAC for full license holders. Therefore, drivers must not exceed 0.05g of alcohol per 100ml of blood while driving. Moreover, learners and probationary license holders have a zero alcohol limit. So if your BAC registers 0.05% BAC or higher in a police breathalyser test, you are subject to drink driving violations and corresponding penalties. High-range drink driving will have higher fines, longer prison terms, license disqualification, and a mandatory alcohol interlock. Thus, many people use a BAC calculator like a BACtrack breathalyser to avoid legal charges.

Health authorities recommend no more than two standard drinks in the first hour and one drink in the succeeding hour for men. For women, intake should be no more than one standard drink per hour. However, no consumption level would guarantee that the BAC will stay below 0.05%. In addition, despite the body’s rapid absorption, it can only metabolise alcohol compounds at one standard drink per hour. As a result, it will take longer for full sobriety to return the more an individual drinks. The BACtrack breathalyser can help people monitor their BAC every hour to prevent exceeding the legal limit. 

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Features of the BACtrack Breathalysers

Responsible drinking and driving begin with an awareness of alcohol concentration in the body. A BACtrack breathalyser help tracks alcohol consumption by delivering precise BAC readings. Likewise, BACtrack incorporates advanced features making each breath test more accurate and dependable. Aside from the robust alcohol sensors, the BACtrack breathalysers offer the following features:

  • Optimal breath capture – each BACtrack unit contains a mini solenoid pump to get precise breath samples from the deep lung. Thus, it keeps ambient air and other pollutants from entering the sensors.
  • One-touch operation – BACtrack operates on a one-button function by pressing the power button. The breathalyser will initiate a countdown timer as the sensors warm up and prepare the user to provide a breath sample.
  • Linear response – the BACtrack breathalysers utilising the Xtend fuel cell sensors have enhanced linear response. They provide more accurate results over the complete range of alcohol concentrations in the breath. Hence, they can trace alcohol through 0.400% BAC without losing its exactness.
  • Temperature checking – the BACtrack Pro series includes continuous temperature checking, which ensures breath sample consistency. 
  • Adjustable settings – certain breathalysers allow you to extend the blow time and strength settings for increased accuracy. 
  • Fast results – the BACtrack breathalysers analyse the breath samples and deliver the BAC results within 10 to 15 seconds. 

Guide to the BACtrack Personal Breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia

Breathalysers Australia offers the following BACtrack breathalysers for various personal uses:

Pro Series – with the BACtrack’s Xtend fuel cell sensor technology, FDA and DOT compliance.

  • S80 Pro – premier professional breathalyser with accuracy similar to the breathalysers law enforcement use. If you depend on precision, the BACtrack S80 Pro is the ideal breathalyser.
  • Mobile Pro – the breathalyser with smartphone connectivity. The device connects to a smartphone app via Bluetooth, where it can track the BAC results and estimate sobriety. 
  • Trace Pro and Trace Pro Gen2 – have a slim and understated design, combining ease of use and accuracy. Additionally, the breathalysers have a test counter which can instantly recall the last ten readings for easy reference. 
  • Scout – the most affordable pro-grade breathalyser of BACtrack utilising the Xtend fuel cell sensors. It boasts an incredible battery life, lasting up to 1,000 tests.

Smartphone

  • C6 Keychain – has optional Bluetooth connectivity. You may use the breathalyser as a standalone unit or connect to a smartphone app. It uses the patented BluFire fuel cell sensor to deliver reliable BAC readings from a tiny package.
  • C8 Smartphone – the breathalyser also offers dual operation. In addition, the BACtrack C8 offers ZeroLine functionality from the app and on the device. This technology estimates how long your BAC will return to 0.00%.
  • Mobile Pro 

MicroCheck Semiconductor Sensor

  • BACtrack Go Keychain – the lightest and smallest alcohol breath tester. It has a fold-out mouthpiece to keep external fumes out and protect the device when not in use. 

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Alcohol Impairment at Work

An adult spends an average of eight hours a day at work. Hence, the workplace is one of the highly susceptible areas to alcohol-related incidents. Even if a person does not consume alcohol, they may still be exposed to safety hazards if a co-worker is impaired. Moreover, companies incur annual expenses for hospitalisation, compensation, and property damage. It also leads to low productivity, increased absenteeism, and high turnover rates. Therefore, many companies establish a workplace policy to minimise preventable hazards, reduce accidents, and improve efficiency. An alcohol policy helps guide employees in conducting themselves at work. It includes the standard safety practices, alcohol test methods, testing situation, and consequences of failing the test. Companies use a reliable device like a BACtrack breathalyser to help secure the workplace. 

High-risk industries like mining, aviation, transportation, and construction implement zero-alcohol tolerance for workers. Thus, they perform regular alcohol screening to prevent accidents and keep the working environment alcohol-free. Likewise, a professional device like a BACtrack breathalyser is essential for monitoring the employees’ alcohol levels. Furthermore, workplaces may conduct alcohol breath testing in various circumstances. The common test situations are pre-employment, post-incident, random, and reasonable suspicion. Employers include alcohol testing in hiring a job candidate to ensure that the new employee does not have risky behaviour. Meanwhile, testing employees after an accident is important to know the actual cause of the incident. 

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The BACtrack Breathalysers for Workplace Use

A highly efficient alcohol tester like the BACtrack breathalysers helps the workplace maintain a healthy and secure environment. They are non-invasive devices, making alcohol monitoring in the workplace easy and cost-effective. Moreover, employees have high morale and perform better, knowing their safety is a top priority. In line with this, Breathalysers Australia offers the following devices to help improve workplace safety:

  • BACtrack S80 Pro Gen2 – features an enlarged electrochemical fuel cell sensor with enhanced linear accuracy. The breathalyser suits quick and consecutive breath testing due to its one-touch operation and fast response time. 
  • BACtrack Mobile Gen2 – the smartphone breathalyser is specially modified for remote workplace alcohol testing. The unit can be used as a compliance tool or to monitor staff in remote or off-site locations. 

How to Get Accurate Results with the BACtrack Breathalysers

The BACtrack breathalysers combine user-friendly features and advanced functionalities to enable efficient alcohol breath testing. Furthermore, using the BACtrack breathalyser is simple and easy. Firstly, it is vital to wait 15 to 20 minutes after eating, drinking, or smoking to get accurate results. It ensures that the breathalyser will capture the breath sample after alcohol has reached the lungs. It also minimises the chances of alcohol residue in the mouth interfering with the breath test results. Secondly, provide an adequate breath sample by inhaling deeply and continuously blowing into the device. You may blow steadily to the mouthpiece for 6 to 8 seconds or until the beeping sound stops. If the provided breath sample is insufficient, an error message displays on the screen, and you need to take a retest.

Most BACtrack breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia come with additional mouthpieces. Using a mouthpiece will help protect the sensors, preventing contaminants like saliva or dust from entering. Moreover, a fresh mouthpiece makes sharing the device with others more hygienic. Lastly, keep your unit periodically recalibrated to maintain the sensor’s performance. You can send your BACtrack breathalyser back to Breathalysers Australia for servicing.

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Conclusion

Modern alcohol testers like the BACtrack breathalysers are compact and portable, making them easy to carry anywhere. The extensive range of features also suits various testing needs for individuals and workplaces. Additionally, they are easy to use, allowing you to take an alcohol breath test in seconds. Health and safety experts recommend checking your BAC every hour or after a few rounds of drinks. Regular testing helps you control your intake, thus managing your BAC level to stay below the legal limit. Also, you may use your breathalyser to monitor the decline of your BAC. Many people use a breathalyser to prevent road or workplace accidents. 

Breathalysers Australia has a comprehensive selection of BACtrack breathalysers suitable for personal or professional use. Personal breathalysers with pro-grade accuracy are now easily available. Hence, you can ensure that your BAC test is at par with the alcohol testers that police officers use in roadside screening. You may select from the breathalysers with keychain rings, smartphone connectivity, or police-grade. A BACtrack breathalyser is a great way to learn more about your body and your reaction to alcohol without putting you at risk. As a result, the more you know how alcohol affects you, the more you can make better decisions. Undoubtedly, a BACtrack device is a great investment. Visit Breathalysers Australia to get a suitable device. 

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