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Demian Rusakov
Demian Rusakov

Where To Buy A Breathalyzer

Because the most important feature of a breathalyzer is an accurate reading, I tested six devices against various sobriety levels to see how easy each one was to use and how accurate the BAC was. At the end of this guide, I go into more detail on how I tested the devices, as well as what to look for when buying one and FAQs like how you use a breathalyzer and who breathalyzers might not test accurately for.

where to buy a breathalyzer

Our tests found the BACtrack Trace to deliver readings as precise as the more expensive, high-accuracy breathalyzers. It takes about 11 seconds to prepare for use once you turn it on, and it delivers results within just a few seconds as well, so you won't be stuck staring at the screen for long. At $100, it's a great value for the price.

The only real drawback is that the breathalyzer needs to be sent in for calibration every 6 to 12 months to maintain accuracy, depending on how frequently you use it, but this is true of virtually all breathalyzers so we can't really count it against the Trace.

Proof that price doesn't always reflect quality, the AlcoHAWK is a fraction of the cost of competing products but, based on my testing, delivers similar accuracy and reliability as the professional-grade breathalyzers I tried. If you're interested in having a breathalyzer on hand for the random afternoon wine tasting or dinner party, this is the one to get.

If you're using a breathalyzer as a parent or school administrator, this is the one you should invest in for the sake of being as fair as possible. Plus, it's quick: The device warms up in under 15 seconds and gives you your reading within 3 seconds, which can be helpful if you're testing several people.

This gadget doesn't have a display, so you do need the app to use it and see your results. If you don't have a smartphone or don't want to rely on one, this device is not the one for you. Note that also means if your phone is dead, you can't use the breathalyzer.

Based on our tests, this device is also highly accurate and comparable to other BACtrack models. And the Mobile is considerably smaller than most of the other breathalyzers on this list, which can be convenient for slipping into a purse or pocket.

Note: Despite drinking the same, standardized amount for Test 1 and Test 2, my BAC reading was different between the days. This could be from a variety of factors, like what I ate and how long beforehand. What's important is comparing Test 1's tests among the different breathalyzer, and seeing if those discrepancies were repeated with the same brand on Test 2.

There are only a handful of companies that make breathalyzers for the general public (which is why we include multiple devices by BACtrack) but even so, the products on the market have some significant differences. When buying a personal breathalyzer, consider:

Price: The cheapest product we tried was about $40 and the most expensive $131. Generally, the more expensive breathalyzers do tend to be more accurate and reliable, but you don't need the same level of detail for recreational use as, say, a police officer would. If your reading is at all borderline or uncertain, you can always just wait a little longer and test yourself again later.

Accuracy and reliability: Virtually all major breathalyzer manufacturers claim "professional" or "police-grade" accuracy, so it can be difficult to determine which devices actually deliver on that claim. Since accuracy is crucial in staying safe behind the wheel, we conducted trials to test the accuracy of each device so that we can tell you which ones live up to their price tag. And we found price does not denote reliability.

Result readability: Some breathalyzers will display your BAC right on the device, while others have an optional or mandatory Bluetooth smartphone connection. The latter can be useful if you want to store your results in a log. But if you don't have or don't want to use a smartphone, skip this feature and be sure to get a standalone device.

Calibration and charging: Most breathalyzers need to be sent back to the manufacturer for calibration after 6-12 months in order for the device to continue to read BAC levels accurately. If you'd rather replace the sensor yourself, pick a model for which that's possible. Also, note what kind of batteries the device takes and if it's rechargeable or not.

BACtrack is the exclusive breathalyzer brand carried by Costco warehouse stores - pallets of BACtrack Breathalyzers can be found seasonally in the more than 560 retail locations across North America, as well as online at

BACtrack smartphone breathalyzers and our BACtrack Go keychain breathalyzer are available at nearly 600 Best Buy store locations across the country. You can also find BACtrack's full product lineup online at

Withso much at stake, it is smart to avoid driving under the influence. This may take the form of having a designated driver, taking a taxi,Lyft or Uber, or staying over somewhere when you choose to drink. Some people take a different route: buying a personal breathalyzer tocheck their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) before driving.

Inthe past, breathalyzers were only available to law enforcementagencies. Now, anyone can buy a breathalyzer for personal use. These devices range in price from $20 to several hundred dollars. You can even purchase a single-use breathalyzer or an app that usesyour phone to determine your BAC.

However,as a DUI lawyer Santa Ana, CA, no matter how much you spend on apersonal breathalyzer, it will probably just give you false peace ofmind. Even if you blow under the legal limit before leaving a bar orparty, you may still be arrested for a DUI. First, your BAC cancontinue to rise after you take the test as your body metabolizesalcohol. Even if your BAC was below the legal limit of .08% at thetime that you took the test, it may be significantly higher once youare driving. Second, California law allows individuals to bearrested for DUI even if their BAC is under the legal limit. If yourdriving is impaired by drugs and/or alcohol such that you are unableto operate your vehicle safely, then you can still be charged with aDUI.

Personal Breathalyzer is becoming more common with the greater push by Law Enforcement to lower the number of deaths and injuries on our roads due to alcohol. People are also becoming more aware and responsible for their drinking habits. So how do you know what to look for when looking to buy a breathalyzer?

Firstly, what is your breathalyser going to be used for? Is it purely for personal use while out and about? Or are you buying a breathalyzer for a workplace? A workplace may buy a breathalyzer that is stronger, more expensive, and more reliable. Personal users may buy breathalyzer that is smaller and more portable. Think about whether it needs to be compact and lightweight for carrying with you all the time. Maybe it can be a sturdier, larger model that can live in a desk drawer until needed.

Budget will probably be the next deciding factor when buying a breathalyzer. The best bet is to buy the best one you can afford. Generally speaking, the more expensive models are more reliable, last longer, and are more accurate. This is mainly due to the technology and design built into them. Cheaper is usually not better, and in some cases, they are no more than toys.

The most important thing to look for when you buy a breathalyzer in Australia is to make sure that it conforms to Australian Standards AS 3547-1997. This Standard means that your breathalyser has been extensively tested and will work as expected for its lifespan. This Standard also separates the serious breathalyser from the novelty ones. Buying a breathalyzer that conforms to the Standard is especially important for a workplace environment where the result may be needed for legal reasons.

The next decision to make when you buy breathalyzer will be between a semi-conductor model or a fuel cell model. Semi-conductors use a reaction between the ethyl alcohol breathed into the acetic acid and water within the device to determine a reading. The reaction creates an electrical current which is small or large depending on the amount of alcohol the person has consumed.

Semi-conductor models are often cheaper but are not as reliable or as accurate as a fuel cell model. If you buy a semi-conductor breathalyzer, make sure it is a Silicon oxide-based model as they are more accurate. Semi-conductor models generally have a shorter lifespan and lose accuracy over time. Semi-conductor models can also give false-positive readings for people with diabetes. Their readings can be affected by the extra acetone found in their breath. Fuel cell breathalyser does not have this issue.

Fuel Cell models produce an electrical charge when exposed to alcohol that can be more accurately measured than the semi-conductor reaction. All Police grade breathalyser and those used in medical environments are Fuel Cell technology. If you rely on an accurate reading every time over a long time, always buy a breathalyzer with Fuel cell technology. This is especially important for workplaces, hospitals and the like who may need a legally admissible result.

In the end, the decision comes down to what you need out of your breathalyzer. Most people want a small device to take when out to monitor their approximate Blood Alcohol content. All devices available will do this in varying degrees (except for novelty devices that are little more than toys).

Always buy a breathalyzer from a reputable company with readily available product information and product testing results. These should all be easy to find on a website, and all testing should be backed up with proof of the results. Make sure your breathalyser has a warranty in case something goes wrong. Check reviews of the company and of the specific product that you wish to buy. Ask about after-sales service as well. Additionally, check whether the company recalibrates its breathalysers with trained personnel and that this process is quick and easy for you as the consumer. 041b061a72


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