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Evidential Breath Analyzers: What Are They, How They Work, and Can You Buy Them?

11 December, 2023

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Drunk driving is a serious offence that poses a significant risk to public safety. To combat this issue, police officers use evidential breath analyzers during roadside testing. These devices measure the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels using fuel cell sensor technology. The sensors create chemical reactions when they detect ethanol in the breath sample. People may also buy evidential breath testing devices online or in physical stores.

Consuming alcohol can cause severe impairments in judgment, coordination, and reaction time. This is why it is crucial to prevent impaired drivers from driving. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) causes a significant number of accidents that lead to injuries and fatalities. Fortunately, evidential devices can provide accurate and reliable breath alcohol content readings. This article will present the definition of an evidential alcohol screening device, how it works, and where to buy it.

What Are Evidential Breath Analyzers?

Evidential breath analyzers measure the blood alcohol levels of an individual. Police officers commonly employ these devices in police stations to check for intoxicated drivers. They are crucial tools in protecting public safety on the roads. Their results can serve as prompts for further testing or legal purposes.

Breath alcohol devices provide immediate results after receiving adequate breath samples. Moreover, they are portable and non-invasive, making them ideal for quick testing. Using one is a simple process. To start, the user must turn the device on and wait for the sensors to warm up. Afterwards, they must take a deep breath and blow into the mouthpiece until it signals them to stop.

After a few minutes, the results will show, indicating the BAC levels of the individual. Individuals may face possible penalties if they fail the evidential alcohol breath test. The results are admissible in court. In some cases, they are taken in for further testing. They may ask for blood samples or infrared spectrometry.

A Brief History

  • In 1931, Rolla N. Harger created the first breathalyzer that could be used outside a laboratory setting. He named this the drunkometer.
  • In 1954, Dr. Robert Borkenstein invented the modern breathalyzer machine. He was a forensic scientist for the Indiana State Police.
  • Afterwards, breath alcohol testers became widely used among police officers to identify people under the influence of alcohol.
  • In the 1980s, fuel cell technology was developed. These are now incorporated into modern alcohol screening devices.
  • Over the years, breath alcohol testing devices have become more portable and standard use for breath-alcohol analysis in police stations and roadside tests.

A woman blowing into a breathalyser

How Do Evidential Breath Analyzers Work?

An evidential breath analyzer examines the breath samples of an individual to determine their BAC level. The analysis is done using the sensors inside them. Generally, there are two types: fuel cells and semiconductors. Semiconductor breathalyzers use a tin oxide compound to measure the alcohol concentration level. This produces an electric current when it comes into contact with ethyl alcohol and produces the result.

Meanwhile, fuel cell breathalyzers use platinum electrodes to oxidise the alcohol. This chemical reaction produces acetic acid, protons, and electrons. Then, electrical currents form, reflecting the amount of ethanol in the sample of breath. This is considered more accurate than semiconductor sensors because it only reacts to ethanol.

For increased accuracy, it is recommended to use breath alcohol tests at least 15 minutes after eating or drinking. This provides time to decrease the residual alcohol in the mouth and ensure the absorption of alcohol consumed. Moreover, individuals must use clean mouthpieces to prevent inaccurate results or false positives.

Understanding the BAC

Blood Alcohol Concentration, or BAC, is the amount of alcohol in the blood. This is crucial for determining if an individual is legally fit to drive. Alcohol impairs reaction times, coordination, and judgment. The legal limit for most drivers in Australia is 0.05%. However, for some drivers, the limit is at zero.

Several factors can affect the blood alcohol levels of the individual. This includes the amount and type of alcohol consumed, age, gender, body type, and overall health condition. Some alternative methods of determining the BAC, besides breath testing, include using an online calculator and bloodurine, and saliva tests.

A breathalyser, mouthpieces, bag, anda smartphone with results

Can You Buy Evidential Breath Analyzers?

There are many options for evidential breath analyzers available in the market. These are available online and in physical stores. Due to their popularity, many individuals can find them in pharmacies, department stores, and supermarkets. Moreover, there are plenty of products online. People can check various online platforms or go directly to the website of the manufacturer.

When buying a breath tester, it is crucial to consider several factors. Firstly, the user must decide on the breath analyzer sensor. Alcohol breath testers with semiconductors are usually less expensive. However, fuel cell sensors require less recalibration. Secondly, they should select a provider that offers recalibration services. This can help ensure the longevity of the device.

Thirdly, the breath analyzer test should be easy to operate. This is crucial, especially since the device will be used after drinking liquor. Lastly, select a breath alcohol device with the required certification. This ensures that they meet the standards and guidelines for an evidentiary breathalyzer.

Advantages of Owning a Personal Breathalyzer

There are several advantages to owning a personal breathalyzer. One of them is that it can help the person monitor and limit their intake of alcohol. This is crucial, especially for those who suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). Furthermore, it can help them understand the effects that different alcoholic beverages have on them.

Personal breathalyzers can also help the user stay within the legal limit and prevent them from drink driving. It can provide approximations of when they will become sober. This can help them make informed decisions and remain safe. Lastly, individuals may use them to test multiple times without compromising accuracy.

Conclusion

Evidential breath analyzers are crucial tools in ensuring public safety on the roads. Police officers use these portable and accurate instruments to identify impaired drivers and use the results for possible evidence in legal proceedings. Moreover, there are portable devices that use either semiconductor sensors or fuel cell sensors. These are what cause the chemical reactions that result in the BAC amounts shown in the device.

Individuals must understand the importance of knowing how BAC works. This is because it can help in preserving their health and keep them out of legal predicaments. People may buy evidentiary breath analyzers online or in physical stores. However, they must consider several factors to ensure they have a proper breath alcohol testing device. It should have the necessary certification, be easy to operate, and have their preferred sensor. Those interested in owning a personal breathalyzer may consider BACtrack devices.

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