If you don’t ask, you won’t find out a breathalyser customised to your needs. We have collected the most frequently asked questions – check the 12 questions concerning breathalysers that will surely help you choose the most suitable device.
WHO INVENTED THE BREATHALYSER?
The first semiconductor breathalyser was invented in the 1950s by Robert Frank Borkenstein, whereas the first mobile breathalyser was the invention of professor Harger. The so-called “Drunkometer” was used by the police to test a drunk driver for the first time on the 31st of December, 1969. Prototypes of breathalysers were created in the 1920s and 30s and their inventors made use of various reagents and even football bladders.
If you want to find out, why during works on one type of breathalyser 50 rabbits were drowned and how many years after arresting the first drunk driver the ban of driving a vehicle under the influence was introduced in Great Britain – read the article on our blog on the history of the breathalyser.
HOW TO PURCHASE A POLICE-GRADE BREATHALYSER?
If you want to buy a police-grade breathalyser, check out the electrochemical breathalysers and models requiring no mouthpiece, as these are more comfortable in use, hygienic and generate less costs as there is no need to change mouthpieces.
A police-grade breathalyser is, for example, the AlcoBlow device. It provides extremely fast measurement in just 5 seconds and, since no mouthpieces are required, after a test another one may be conducted straight away. The police-grade electrochemical breathalyser iBlow is even quicker as you get immediate measurement in just 4 seconds and the test result is displayed on a small LCD screen, whereas AlcoBlow signalises level of alcohol with a colour diode.
Both police-grade devices feature the passive mode, what means that the tested person doesn’t have to blow towards them as they can test vapours. This option makes them perfect for testing people during mass events, where drinking is not allowed, or people unwilling or unable to cooperate during the testing.
Police-grade breathalysers like AlcoBlow, iBlow and Alkohit X45 may be used by everyone – students during a party, parents of a teenager, company owners, security guards and many more.
DO BREATHALYSERS DETECT DRUGS LIKE MARIHUANA?
Breathalysers do not detect marihuana or any other drugs as they only display blood alcohol level.
There is, however, a connection between drugs and breathalysers – if a tested person has smoked marihuana or other drug right before the examination, and the sensor in the device is of rather poor quality, the result may not be trustworthy, like when it can happen with smoking a cigarette just before the test.
To detect drugs, you need to turn to different gear, like disposable drug tests.
DO BREATHALYSERS DETECT SMALL AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL?
Yes, these devices can detect even a small beer. Their measuring range may be 0,00‰ – 6,300‰, as for example in the police-grade Alkohit X45 breathalyser, so even if you drink a legally safe amount of alcohol, a good quality breathalyser will detect it.
BREATHALYSER VS BREATHALYSER TEST – WHICH TO CHOOSE?
The choice depends on whether you want to test yourself on a one-off basis or have around a device that can be used multiple times.
Choose the breathalyser test if you are a mild drinker and want to test yourself after a party. If you drink alcohol quite regularly – go for a breathalyser so that you can always check whether you are good to drive.
Compared to breathalyser tests, breathalysers may be used up to 500 times before a calibration is required! The tests are for single use and less precise than professional devices.
This kind of breathalyser is hygienic (tested persons don’t touch the device with their mouths), lowers the costs (no need to buy mouthpieces) and provide faster examination (no need to clean or replace mouthpieces between tests).
Breathalyser with a mouthpiece is for those, who use it for personal purposes, do not share it with friends and don’t mind that after each test multiple use mouthpiece should be cleaned and periodically changed, whereas the single use – thrown away.
BREATHALYSER WITH EXCHANGEABLE MOUTHPIECES – DOES IT PAY OFF?
A mouthpiece for breathalyser with exchangeable mouthpieces costs about £0.5, depending on model of the breathalyser and whereas it is for single or multiple use or for non-contact measurement (the most expensive). Breathalyser with exchangeable mouthpieces guarantees hygiene during examination, especially if it’s used by many persons.
ARE THERE GOOD QUALITY BREATHALYSERS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE CALIBRATION?
Each professional breathalyser requires calibration because the sensor, nevertheless if electrochemical or semiconductor, isn’t able to reset its software and restore model data like it is done by professional equipment available in dedicated service centres.
Each breathalyser, also police-graded, is periodically calibrated in order to work properly and give correct test results.
WINE BREATHALYSER – WHICH ONE TO BUY?
If you want to buy a wine breathalyser, invest in a professional electrochemical device. There aren’t separate breathalysers for different types of alcohol, so regardless which alcohol you prefer, a universal high quality gear will detect it in your organism.
WHICH SENSOR IS BETTER?
Should you buy an electrochemical or semiconductor breathalyser? These are the two most popular and recommended sensors available in devices for personal use.
Breathalyser with semiconductor needs regular calibration despite the number of conducted measurements and is sensitive to substances like nicotine. That’s why before the test, you need to wait at least 15 minutes after smoking a cigarette or drinking alcohol, so that drops of the substance do not reach the semiconductor.
Breathalyser with electrochemical sensor is more precise and durable than a semiconductor one. It works up to 5 years and requires calibration after 500-1000 measurements, depending on its manufacturer. Prices of breathalysers with electrochemical sensors are not steep so it’s recommendable to invest in gear of better quality as it soon pays off.
BREATHALYSER WITH PRINTING OPTION – WHAT’S THAT?
A breathalyser with printing option is dedicated to, e.g. police officers who use them as proofs of breaking the law. If you want to test yourself after a party, you don’t need a breathalyser with printing option, like the Alco-Sensor VXL evidence breathalyser, a classical electrochemical breathalyser is enough.
Thermal printer for breathalyser costs at least 250-300 pounds, depending on the breathalyser’s model. And the cost of an evidence breathalyser, where you can type in information concerning the tested person, is more than a thousand pounds.
WHO CAN OPERATE A BREATHALYSER?
Everybody can operate a breathalyser: minors, parents, employees, company owners, police officers, students and many more. There are no age limits.
Although some breathalysers, like police-graded or evidence ones, are equipped with functions for advanced users, they can be used by every customer of our online store.