Late night parties, weekend getaways, and family celebrations can tempt you to have a few extra drinks. Keeping a breathalyzer handy can help you keep your blood alcohol level in check and determine how much alcohol has taken over your system. It can help you detect whether you are eligible to drive or not legally. If you have consumed alcohol beyond your threshold and plan on getting behind the wheel, you will be putting yourself and your fellow road users in grave danger. Hence, take responsibility for your actions by purchasing a personal breathalyzer to help you avoid driving under the influence. In this article, we have listed the 10 best breathalyzers available on the market right now. Read on further.
What Is A Breathalyzer?
A breathalyzer is a device used for estimating the blood alcohol level (BAL) from a breath sample. This device is equipped with sensors that measure the subject’s BAL and provide accurate readings.
The device has a tube-like structure, which you breathe into, and a chamber for the electrochemical process. Here, the alcohol is oxidized, and an electrical current is produced. This detects the concentration of alcohol in your system.
There are three main types of breathalyzers available. Take a look.
Types Of Breathalyzers
Table Of Contents
1. Semiconductor Oxide-Based Testers
These are relatively new, affordable, and simple devices. They use ethanol sensors to measure the subject’s blood alcohol content. The devices are equipped with a semiconductor that reacts with alcohol and changes the electrochemical current. The larger the change, the larger the alcohol content. These devices are for personal, home, or non-professional testing.
2. Fuel Cell Sensors
These are professional breathalyzers that provide accurate readings. Most officers use a fuel cell breathalyzer for roadside screenings. This device measures alcohol content by creating an electrochemical reaction that oxidizes alcohol and produces an electrical current. The greater the current, the higher the alcohol content. The current is then measured to determine the BAC readings.
Fuel cell sensors are made with expensive materials like platinum electrodes that help oxidize the alcohol to produce protons and electrons.
3. Infrared Spectrometer
These are used in table-top breathalyzers by traffic officials or at police stations. They identify the molecules within the sample of air and measure the amount of infrared light absorbed by them. Since ethanol can only absorb a certain wavelength of infrared radiation, the more the wavelength absorbed, the more the alcohol content. These devices provide 1005 accurate BAC readings.
Now that we know the types let’s take a look at the top 10 breathalyzers you can buy.
Top 10 Breathalyzers To Buy In 2020
This breathalyzer is designed to meet the standards of accurate alcohol screeners. It is approved by the DOT and FDA. It is equipped with fuel cell sensor technology that provides accurate results. It delivers precise results over a range of alcohol concentrations from 0.000 to 0.400% BAC. The best part about this device is that it excels even after multiple uses per day.
- One-touch operation
- Reliable and accurate results
- Comes in a case
- Delivers results within 10 seconds
- Legally approved
This modern and new age breathalyzer is equipped with zero-line technology that enables you to detect the time until your BAC is 0.00% so that you are in control of your alcohol consumption. It can even deliver your BAC data to your phone via Bluetooth. The free BACtrack app tracks your BAC results and helps you call an Uber. The app will accurately let you know how close you are to the maximum BAC.
- Suitable for Android and iOS
- Reliable results
The device is designed with professional-grade fuel cell sensor technology for 100% reliable, accurate, and consistent results. The new blowing interruption detection feature helps ensure the consistency of breath sampling. This device can detect the alcohol concentration range from 0.000% to 0.200%.
- Comes with a case
- Delivers results in seconds
- Recalibration alarm
- 5 replacement mouthpieces included
- Poor battery
AlcoHawk Elite Slim Digital Breathalyzer is a semiconductor breathalyzer. It is a pre-calibrated device with professional-grade accuracy. It meets the DOT standards of BAC testing. This device comes with specially designed mouthpieces that prevent the outside environment from disturbing the sample. It has a built-in exhale monitor that helps prevent the sample from diluting. It also ensures to capture air from deep in the lungs for accurate readings.
- Includes mouthpiece covers
- Fast results
- Accurate readings
- Requires multiple resettings
This light and portable breathalyzer feature advanced semiconductor sensor technology that ensures to provide results within seconds. It comes with four mouthpieces and three AAA batteries. The device alarms you with a beep sound and a red light when the BAC is higher than 0.08%.
- Compact and sturdy design
- Large LCD screen
- 4 removable mouthpieces included
- Requires regular calibration
This breathalyzer can detect up to 0.190% BAC. It stores up to 32 recent testing records. The results are displayed within 3 seconds. It displays a red light when the test result is higher than 0.05% BAC. The device is powered with three AAA long-lasting alkaline batteries.
- Includes 5 removable mouthpieces
- Easy to read LED display
- Needs regular recalibration
This award-winning breathalyzer is a one-button operation device. It features optional audible feedback, text, and graphic readings on the LCD. It also has an integrated clock that reminds you to send your device for calibration. This device meets the strong requirements of NHTSA’S standard readings. It works incomparably fast and accurate. Within 4 seconds, it can be used to detect the BAC again.
- Can store up to 10 test results
- Long-lasting reading
- Does not require calibration until a year
This user-friendly breathalyzer uses advanced fuel cell sensor technology. It can record up to 10 results along with time. The device also reminds you of the number of days remaining for calibration. It can read from 0.000 to 0.400% BAC. It comes with two 1.5V AAA batteries. The readings are accurate and 100% reliable.
- Respond within 10 seconds
- Lightweight and portable
- Durable battery
- Slightly expensive
This simple one-touch design features advanced semiconductor sensor technology that gives you accurate and reliable results within seconds. The device emits an alarming sound with blinking lights to indicate over the limit BAC. It has three mouthpieces that can be cleaned and re-used. The device is small, light, and portable enough to carry in your pocket.
- Sleek design
- Large LED screen
- Needs regular calibration
This breathalyzer with a keychain is very handy and lightweight. It provides quick responses and resumes more quickly. It has three color indicators with the BAC limits printed on it; the yellow and red lights indicate danger. The device also has a timing and countdown function that can be used to check the time of exhalation.
- Easy to use
- It does not read accurate values at times.
Those were the top 10 breathalyzers available on the market. But how do you choose one? How do you know which one is right for you?
[ Read: Top 10 Side Effects Of Drinking Beer ]
What To Look For In A Breathalyzer
These are the key considerations that you need to keep in mind while buying a breathalyzer:
Before purchasing a breathalyzer, you should know that these devices are not 100% accurate, but some are very close. If you are looking for accurate readings, some breathalyzers have a marginal error of ±0.001. This is the maximum margin allowed by the law. However, some devices claim to be 100% accurate, which is not true.
Whether you use the breathalyzer more than once a day or less than once every 2 to 3 months, you need to send your device for calibration. Though the need for frequent calibration is very less for personal use breathalyzer, it will be beneficial to send it away for calibration at least once a year.
- Legally Approved
It is important that you choose a breathalyzer that is approved by the DOT, NHTSA, FDA, and other similar government bodies, depending on your country. This is so that these devices are accurate and match the police readings.
Most accurate breathalyzers use fuel cell technology. Other devices with not-so-accurate functioning use semiconductor sensors.
- Replaceable Mouthpiece
Look for a device that comes with a replaceable mouthpiece for accurate results. Some devices provide disposable mouthpieces for hygiene and accuracy purposes.
Uncontrolled drinking is dangerous for you and your peers, as well. Get these handy gadgets and stay sober and safe. Pick the product you think is best suited for you, try it out, and let us know how it worked for you by commenting below.
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