Personal Breathalyser – Understanding How They Work

Alcohol intoxication on the road is one of the leading factors of car crashes and accidents in Australia every year. Reducing road trauma is one of Australia’s primary goals in the next ten years. Implementing stricter regulations and road monitoring can significantly reduce accidents and serious injuries. Police officers use breathalysers to check for sobriety and determine possible impairments accurately. Additionally, it is vital to remove  intoxicated drivers off the road before harming themselves and others. In line with this, an individual can use a personal breathalyser to check their Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) before driving.

The Need for a Personal Breathalyser

A personal breathalyser is a portable device that measures the quantity of alcohol in a person’s breath. It determines the BAC level or the amount of alcohol present in the bloodstream. So, the more you consume alcohol, the higher your BAC. The device can help you monitor your alcohol level, preventing you from exceeding the legal limit. A personal breathalyser from Breathalysers Australia can drastically help moderate alcohol intake and allow users to make better drinking decisions. Excessive alcohol can severely impair our senses, judgment, and motor skills. Additionally, it also affects vision, hearing, alertness, reasoning, motor coordination, and balance. Therefore, these impairments can affect the ability to drive safely. Moreover, the severity of impairment depends on the alcohol concentration in our system and factors that influence our BAC.

The number of alcohol-related incidents increases the need for a personal breathalyser. Many individuals may want to avoid drink driving charges and potential accidents by checking their alcohol level before leaving. For instance, if your BAC is high, you can slow down or stop consumption and wait for your BAC level to decrease. Thus, a personal breathalyser enables you to make intelligent and informed safety decisions. Likewise, a breathalyser is also essential to remain safe while at work. Employees can ensure sobriety by checking with a personal breathalyser before work. In particular, safety-critical industries have a zero-alcohol tolerance policy to prevent accidents from happening. You can get personal alcohol testers from Breathalysers Australia to help you moderate your alcohol intake.



Blood Alcohol Content and other Factors

Most people limit their intake according to the general guidelines of alcohol consumption. For instance, men can remain within the legal limit if they keep to two standard drinks in the first hour. Then, one standard drink for each hour afterwards. For women, the recommended amount is one standard drink for the first hour and one drink for the succeeding hours. However, relying on guess estimates does not guarantee you will not exceed the legal limit for alcohol. An excellent way to monitor your BAC is to use a personal breathalyser. A breathalyser from Breathalysers Australia can analyse the breath sample to estimate your exact alcohol level. Understanding how different factors influence the BAC can help moderate alcohol consumption. The various aspects are the following:

  • Age – The person’s age impact how the increase of BAC. The body changes as the person grows older, reducing how well they process alcohol.
  • Gender – Men have a greater capacity to absorb and process alcohol than women due to biology. 
  • Body Type – Different body types have varying degrees of processing alcohol. The body fat distribution impacts the BAC.
  • Alcohol concentration – Each beverage has different alcohol concentrations based on its number of standard drinks. 
  • Metabolism – Each person has varied metabolism rates that affect how the body process alcohol. 
  • Medication – Some medicines can react with alcohol and overstate the BAC. 
  • Food – A person will have a higher BAC if consuming alcohol on an empty stomach.

Kinds of a Personal Breathalyser and How They Work

Ethanol is the main compound in alcoholic drinks. When it enters the body, it does not remain in the stomach. Instead, portions pass to the small intestines and into the bloodstream. The blood carries ethanol to different body organs, where it stays for a particular length of time. Moreover, some alcohol also vaporises in the lungs and exits the body through exhalation. A personal breathalyser like BACtrack captures the breath and processes the sample through its sensors. Mainly, there are two distinct types of breathalysers: semiconductor and fuel cell sensors.

  • Semiconductor breathalyser – The breathalyser oxidises alcohol molecules with a tin-oxide compound. The sensors produce a current when it comes into contact with the ethanol. The device measures the difference in the currents and quantifies it into a corresponding BAC level. It is relatively cheaper than a fuel cell breathalyser. However, it is also less accurate. False-positive results are a possibility in semiconductor units. 
  • Fuel cell breathalyser – This breathalyser utilises platinum fuel cell sensors to measure the alcohol content. It undergoes an electrochemical process to oxidise alcohol in the breath. The process produces small electrical currents and converts them into BAC. This is the breathalyser type that police officers use in roadside screenings. 


The Accuracy of Breathalysers

Breathalysers are now almost entirely automated and built to be practical. A personal breathalyser is an excellent device to maintain self-awareness of how your body responds to alcohol. It is also helpful to minimise the associated risks of harmful alcohol use. Therefore, the accuracy of breathalysers is critical to safety. In particular, the fuel cell breathalysers are specific to ethanol and do not react with other substances in the breath. As a result, the BAC results from people with diabetes or low-calorie diets will not be affected. Most BACtrack personal breathalysers use fuel cell sensors for the highest precision in alcohol breath tests. Additionally, fuel cell sensors maintain accuracy and consistency longer despite high-volume testing.

The proper use of a personal breathalyser is critical in ensuring valid and accurate BAC tests. Firstly, it is necessary to wait 15 to 20 minutes after eating, smoking, or drinking before taking a breath test. The waiting period gives the body enough time to process the alcohol. Likewise, the waiting period allows the body to effectively transport the alcohol around the body (to areas like the lungs). Moreover, it is essential to remember that breathalyser sensors may accumulate alcohol residue over time, which affects their accuracy. Ensure that you send the device back in time for periodic calibration. Each breathalyser requires regular maintenance based on duration or volume of use. The BACtrack breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia will alert you if your device is due for recalibration. 

BACtrack: Best Personal Breathalysers

Knowing your BAC level before driving is possible, thanks to the availability of modern breathalysers. The BACtrack alcohol testers are efficient monitoring tools to keep you from drink driving. Moreover, many individuals find a personal breathalyser beneficial in avoiding accidents or legal charges. Breathalysers Australia has a comprehensive selection of BACtrack devices that suits your needs or budget. These devices have efficient one-button operations for quick and easy use. Furthermore, they can analyse the breath sample and display the results within 10 to 15 seconds. You can select from an array of keychainssmartphones, or professional series breathalysers. Lastly, Breathalysers Australia offers robust BAC testing, reliability, portability, and convenience with each alcohol breath test. You can view our products page to get your personal breathalyser now.