How a Breathalyzer Test Works

You have certainly heard of a breathalyzer test before, right? But you might be wondering how a person’s breath can reveal how much alcohol they’ve consumed. A Breathalyzer, the most well-known portable instrument for testing breath alcohol levels, was created in 1954. Breathalyzer test devices utilize the quantity of alcohol in exhaled breath to compute the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood, commonly referred to as Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). To avoid a DUI conviction, your BAC must be less than 0.05%. In most Australian states or territories, you must have a 0.00% BAC if you are a new driver, provisional or probationary driver (regardless the age), commercial vehicle driver, driving teacher or was accused of DUI (driving under the influence) previously. 

When purchasing a breathalyzer, the buyer must consider the economic, educational and health consequences of driving under the influence. BACtrack serves an important function in keeping you from driving while intoxicated and perhaps inflicting significant injury to yourself and others. Breathalyzer test instruments for blood alcohol have become so popular and widely used. You may no longer need to sample a person’s blood to assess your alcohol level while utilizing them. 

Two kinds of Breathalyzer Test

A passive alcohol breathalyzer test collects a breath sample once a person breathes into the breathalyzer from a small distance. Most importantly, there should be no close communication between the user’s mouth and the device (for hygiene purposes). The device does not provide a BAC reading in “Passive mode,” simply verifying whether the alcohol is present or not (positive/negative only). 

A Standard mode breathalyzer test (also known as “Active mode”) enables the user to provide a breath test through an authorized sanitary mouthpiece. A quality breathalyzer in “Standard mode” produces a reliable BAC reading based on an examination of the user’s “deep lung air.” Standard breathalyzer devices are less prone to natural influence and operator mistakes by the person doing the test. If accuracy is critical (you must see a numerical BAC result), get a breathalyzer that must be breathed into via a mouthpiece. 

The active breath analyzer is more typical for a personal breathalyzer test. There are numerous types of alcohol testers, each with unique and special features and varied prices. These breath testing devices are used by several law enforcement agencies and also by consumers for personal use. 

Breathalyzer sensor types:

Semiconductor Breathalyzer is a leading breathalyzer test platform with a reasonable price and is sensibly consistent in test findings. These breathalyzers are a good, low-cost alternative for personal usage. The reactivity between the device’s tin dioxide (SnO2) and the ethanol molecules in the breath sample is measured by a semiconductor technique using an oxide sensor. The electrical resistance of the sensor is changed when the ethanol molecules come into contact with tin dioxide. It’s cheap and small size make it ideal for the average consumer searching for a breathalyzer test that estimates rather than precisely measures alcohol in the breath. 

Fuel Cell Breathalyzer – is a portable hand-held device that law enforcement officers most widely applied. This breathalyzer test gives a more exact and reliable BAC result with a +/-0.005% accuracy range. By stimulating a chemical reaction known as oxidation, a fuel cell can detect the amount in a body. An electrical current is created when the alcohol breathalyzer test is oxidized. The more alcohol present, the higher the voltage generated by the fuel cell, resulting in a higher value. 

Spectrophotometer Breathalyzer – This type of breathalyzer test offers accurate and exact findings when screening breath samples for blood alcohol content. The Spectrophotometer Breathalyzer employs infrared light to identify compounds. The concentration of ethanol in a sample is isolated and analyzed, allowing a person’s alcohol level to be calculated. While a fuel cell breathalyzer test can be utilized on the roads, a spectrophotometer is a huge device that you can find on a police station’s desk. 


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