Seasonal drink driving awareness is upon us again and the purchase of digital breathalyzer products increases as individual and business purchasers seek to protect and educate. Breathalyzers are often criticised for allowing or tempting users to drink and then drive while under the prosecution limits, but none the less under the influence of alcohol. In practice their use is far more commonly restricted to individuals testing that all alcohol has gone the morning after a social event, prior to considering driving, and company and business policy is more safety orientated and educational versus punative.
There are a large number of breathalyzers on the market which make choosing which one is right for your needs difficult. With this is mind we thought it would be useful to do breathalyzer buying guide, to help make choosing a breathalyzer easier.
Lets start with breathalyzer terminology which in itself can be confusing. Most breathalyzers either diplay BAC or BrAC
BAC = Blood alcohol concentration commonly displayed as a percentage %BAC or mg/100ml
BrAC = Breath alcohol concentration
Few breathlysers display in BrAC, most are mg/100ml BAC display units, doing the electronic conversion for the tester. These scales can be confusing, but just remember all European prosecutions are on the basis of eqivalent BAC levels, so a simple BAC display is best.
Do you require a fuel cell breathalyser or is a semi conductor sensor adequate ? Well fuel sensors do offer a small amount of greater accuracy, but at the levels we are talking about this 4th decimel place is simply irrelavent to all but scientific researchers. If you insist on a fuel cell breathalyzer, you are going to pay a lot more and have to return the breathalyzer to a service centre for calibration service every few months to maintain the accuracy.
Go for a semi conductor sensor breathalyser model with changeable sensor modules. Simply replace the sensor module when the breathalyzer instructs with a new pre-calibrated sensor and never have to send the unit away for service. Models start from under £40 and the sensors are under half the price of a service centre calibration. Most semi conductor breathalyzers give 3 decimel place accuracy (more than enough for all self and business testers)