Breath Test Kit: What It Is, How It Works, And How To Use
21 November, 2023
A breath test kit, also known as a breathalyser, is a device that measures the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in human breath. It operates based on a chemical reaction that occurs when alcohol molecules in the breath interact with a sensor inside the device. To use a breathalyser, a person simply blows into the mouthpiece, and the device provides a reading indicating the level of alcohol in the system.
When people consume alcohol, a fraction of it enters the bloodstream following passage through the stomach. Subsequently, the blood transports these alcohol molecules to essential organs, including the lungs. Within the lungs, the alcohol undergoes vaporisation and is expelled when the individual exhales. A breath tester identifies this vapour, determining the alcohol concentration in the bloodstream. This article will present information about the breath testing kit, including what it is, how it works, and how to use it.
What is a Breath Test Kit
A breath test kit is a portable device that measures the amount of alcohol in the breath. It provides a quick and convenient method to determine whether someone has consumed alcohol. Law enforcement agencies often use these kits to enforce sobriety laws and ensure road safety.
Breath alcohol tests involve the collection of human breath samples to determine the presence and levels of alcohol. These tests operate on the principle of detecting ethanol in the breath, which correlates with the alcohol concentration in the blood. Additionally, a handheld breathalyser utilises a chemical reaction, with the most common methods involving semiconductor and fuel cell sensors.
The purpose of a breath screening device is to provide an efficient and non-invasive method for testing individuals for substances like alcohol. By using breath samples instead of invasive procedures, breathalysers allow for quick and convenient testing that can be done on-site. This makes it easier for police officers, employers, and medical professionals to make informed decisions regarding alcohol consumption and related matters.
Benefits of Using the Kit
- Users can ensure they are within the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving. This helps them avoid legal penalties such as fines, alcohol interlock programs, or even jail time.
- The use of a workplace breathalyser, such as SHIELD Express Identity, enhances safety. It promptly detects and discourages employees from working under the influence of alcohol.
- Police breathalysers provide quick and on-the-spot results. These evidentiary devices allow law enforcers to promptly assess if a driver is under the influence of alcohol.
- Using breath testing devices helps organisations comply with workplace safety regulations and legal standards.
How a Breath Test Kit Works
A breath test kit works by detecting and measuring the level of alcohol in the breath. This process depends on the type of sensor. For instance, semiconductor sensors utilise a tin oxide compound to measure the alcohol level. When alcohol comes into contact with the compound, it generates a small electrical current. The change in resistance in the semiconductors is then converted into a BAC reading.
On the other hand, professional-grade fuel cell sensors rely on an electrochemical process to oxidise alcohol. As exhaled air passes through it, platinum electrodes produce acetic acid, protons, and electrons. The strength of the electrical current corresponds to the volume of alcohol present in the breath sample. Fuel cell sensors are more accurate as they only react to ethanol, reducing the chance of false-positive readings.
To obtain accurate readings, it is crucial to follow the instructions provided with the breath testing kit. Factors like a breathing technique, recent consumption of food or beverages, and other substances in the breath can influence the results. It is advisable to wait at least 15 minutes after consuming any substances before using the breathalyser.
Is There a Possibility of a False Positive
False positives in breathalyser tests can occur due to various factors. An example is residual alcohol in the mouth. When a person consumes alcohol, it can be present in their breath for a certain period. This residual alcohol can lead to inaccurate breathalyser readings, suggesting a higher BAC than the actual level.
Another factor is the presence of certain substances or conditions that emit alcohol-like fumes. Products containing alcohol, such as mouthwash, breath sprays, or even certain medications, can create false positives in breath tests. Additionally, individuals with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or diabetes may have acetone in their breath that produces alcohol-like fumes.
How to Use a Breath Test Kit
Using a breath test kit is a straightforward process. Initially, the user can activate the breathalyser by pressing the power button. The sensors require only a few seconds to warm up and prepare for use. Once the device is ready, a commencement signal will signify that it is time to provide a breath sample.
To provide a breath test sample, individuals have to exhale steadily into the mouthpiece for approximately five seconds or until the cessation of the beeping sound. Following this, the device analyses the breath and promptly exhibits the BAC result on the screen. Generally, this device has a response time of about 10 to 15 seconds. This makes it one of the swiftest means of assessing BAC levels.
Upon receiving the results, users can power off the device and securely store it. If utilising a smartphone breathalyser, such as BACrack Mobile Pro, the device will automatically transmit BAC data to the associated app through Bluetooth. Users also have the choice to save the results for monitoring their BAC levels over time.
Using a Personal Breathalyser as an Alternative
Individuals can use personal breathalysers in their daily lives, not just in law enforcement or workplaces. These devices offer an alternative method for people to assess their alcohol levels and make informed decisions about driving or engaging in other activities.
In addition, personal breathalysers provide peace of mind for those who may be concerned about their alcohol consumption. They provide a practical and easy way to measure alcohol levels accurately, without requiring professional help. With advancements in technology, personal breathalysers have become more affordable, portable, and user-friendly. This makes it easier for individuals to have their device and incorporate it into their daily routine.
In conclusion, a breath test kit is a portable device that swiftly measures alcohol levels in the breath. Law enforcement commonly uses it for sobriety checks. The kit works through sensors like semiconductors or fuel cells, detecting changes in electrical currents or chemical reactions when alcohol is present. These reliable devices offer a quick, non-invasive method for on-site testing, aiding authorities and professionals in making informed decisions about alcohol-related matters.
Using a breath testing kit is a straightforward process. Users just need to turn it on, wait for the signal, blow into it, and check the result in 10 to 15 seconds. After that, they turn it off and store it. With smartphone breathalysers, like BACrack Mobile Pro, the results go straight to the app through Bluetooth. People can save the results to keep tabs on their blood alcohol levels.