Alcohol consumption is normal all around the world. Alcoholic beverages are depressants that can alter your perception. An excessive amount of alcohol can impair the body’s visual, hearing, verbal, and motor functions. After alcohol ingestion, it travels from the stomach to the bloodstream through diffusion. The amount of alcohol in the bloodstream is called the blood alcohol level. Sometimes people get confused with blood alcohol level vs breath alcohol level.
What are the differences in blood alcohol level vs breath alcohol level? The amount of alcohol that enters the bloodstream or the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is different from the amount of alcohol that gets into your breath or the breath alcohol concentration (BrAC). The alcohol in the bloodstream travels throughout the body and can get into our lungs. The alcohol in the lungs goes through a secondary diffusion process in the alveolar air sacs. Once in the alveolar air sacs, it converts to gas and is released every time you exhale. This process is why devices like BACtrack breathalysers require you to wait twenty minutes after consumption to take a breath sample test. This waiting period gives enough time for the lungs to process the alcohol so the breathalysers can detect them more accurately.
Blood Alcohol Level vs Breath Alcohol Level: Calculations
In terms of alcohol concentration, there is a slight difference between blood alcohol level vs breath alcohol level. The breathalysers detect alcohol concentration based on the amount of alcohol in the breath in proportion to the blood. The BAC is in mg/100ml of blood, while the BrAC is g/210L. In law enforcement, police officers use breathalysers as an active breath screening test. Suppose the breathalysers register a high alcohol level. In that case, they may also ask the driver to take a blood sample test to verify the actual amount of alcohol in the blood more accurately. Blood sampling is the most accurate test for both alcohol and drug consumption. However, results in a blood sample test and breath tests are both viable enough to be evidence in court for intoxicated driving or drug violations.
To sum it up, the blood alcohol level vs breath alcohol level argument may not be necessary. These tests are both reliable for determining blood alcohol concentration with minimal differences. The marginal difference is slim. More commonly, though, police officers perform breath tests because it is a quicker and non-invasive method. Breath tests are more common as they are easier to perform on the go. A whole breath test procedure can take less than two minutes. For reliable and accurate breath test BAC readings, the BACtrack fuel cell breathalysers precision is unparalleled.