How to Read a Breathalyzer Test

When you’ve had a few drinks, it may be time to check your alcohol level with a breathalyzer. A breathalyzer is a small device with one main feature. It is a portable breath testing device capable of measuring your blood alcohol content (BAC) through your breath within seconds. Nowadays, checking your BAC level is essential to avoid going over the legal limit. This device can help you keep you control your alcohol consumption. Knowing how to read a breathalyzer test is vital to making better decisions after alcohol consumption.

Learning how to read a breathalyzer test is simple. Firstly, when you blow into the mouthpiece, the breathalyzer sensors react with the alcohol in your breath. Then, the device oxidizes your breath and causes a chemical reaction that estimates the percentage of alcohol in the breath according to the alcohol level in the blood. The BAC is the number of milligrams (mg) of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The final result displays the BAC percentage or the alcohol level on the device’s screen. Breathalyzers such as BACtrack use the international format of BAC expressed in percentage for easier reading. If you had not taken in any alcohol, the device displays your BAC at 0.00%. However, any alcohol consumed will reflect on the breathalyzer after a few minutes of drinking (20 minutes after your first drink). 

How to Read a Breathalyzer Test and What they Mean?

How to read a breathalyzer test after consuming alcohol? A BAC at 0.01 to 0.02% is a low alcohol level. A 0.03-0.04% BAC is mild intoxication. At 0.05% BAC level, signs of physical impairment are evident. The proper way to use a breathalyzer is to wait for at least 20 minutes after the last drink. It gives the body enough time to ingest the alcohol into the bloodstream and pass it to the lungs. The alcohol in the deep air lung is released every time we exhale. A breathalyzer captures the breath sample and calculates the BAC. The device displays the BAC results corresponding to the blood alcohol concentration. The higher the BAC percentage, the higher the amount of alcohol or intoxication is.

Consequently, if the police catch you with a BAC of 0.05% or over, you will face legal punishments and imprisonment. Likewise, some driver’s licenses and workplaces have a zero alcohol limit. It means that no amount of alcohol should be in your blood (BAC reading of 0.00%). You can lose your license or face suspension at a minimal amount in the breathalyzer. Therefore, knowing how to read a breathalyzer test is essential to avoid going over the legal limit. Reliable devices like BACtrack personal breathalyzers can help you stay safe and prevent problems with the law.

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