The choice is large and often confusing, so we thought we would try to guide potential buyers with the key features to look for in a personal digital breathalyser.
Higher price does not always mean higher accuracy, as the expensive breathalyser models are designed to be serviced regularly to maintain their accuracy and don’t have on board self diagnostics.
Here are some key points to consider when buying a DIY digital breathalyser:
1) Insist on interchangeable sensors – without this you are tied to sending the breathalyser regularly to a service centre for calibration services.
2) The breathalyser must have selectivity of no less than +/-0.01% BAC which is the same as +/- 10mg/100ml BAC. (avoid units with +/-0.02% and over)
3) Choose your display scale and stick to it, most digital breathalysers either display as %BAC or mg/100ml BAC (BAC=Blood Alcohol Concentration) don’t confuse this with BrAC .(Breath Alcohol Concentration) which is available but rarer.
4) Be realistic, under £25 and you are getting a novelty device which you should not rely upon. Expect to pay £35-£70 for a digital breathalyser which will work well, give reliable readings, cost £15-20 to replace the sensor (every 300 tests or 6 monthly)
Our recommendation remains the DA5000 for all round value for money and accuracy £39.99 with free UK delivery, low cost sensors and mouth pieces (for personal use you don’t need to buy extras, they are washable and re-usable) In our opinion this is currently the best value breathalyzer on the market for personal use.