If you’ve been searching for the best breathalyzer to suit your personal alcohol tester needs, here are a few considerations you should keep in mind before buying.
The best suited breathalyzer for any individual who wants to test their blood alcohol content (BAC) on a regular basis is one with a fuel cell sensor. The fuel cell sensor technology is normally found in professional devices. The reason a fuel cell model is considered the best technology is due to it’s superior accuracy over other sensors such as the semiconductor. While the professional breathalyzer is created for professional use by law enforcement, clinics and other professional environments, many models are FDA 501(k) approved for sale and use by the general public.
Finding the right breathalyzer will also depend on budget of course. Since the fuel cell personal breathalyzer is often more expensive than the semiconductor models, it may be out of reach for some individuals. Generally speaking, the fuel cell breathalyzers range in price from approximately $120 to upwards of $400. Although with that said, the better semiconductor models are near the $100 price level so it may, in some cases, make more sense to go with the professional grade.
The greater accuracy of the professional, fuel cell breathalyzer is partially dependent on the sensor’s ability to detect the difference between alcohol and higher acetone levels which can be found in individuals with diabetes or those on low calorie diets. Also, a professional device features the ability to give the same result on the same individual when tested repeatedly. In other words, if the same person blows into the mouthpiece in test after test, the results will be similar more often from a fuel cell sensor than a semiconductor model.
Selecting the correct device for your needs will also depend on the device’s ability to pull in an adequate deep lung breath sample. Many professional and portable breathalyzer devices feature a built “fan” of sorts that will pull the sample in and thus assure the proper deep lung sample is acquired. Many will also beep or otherwise alert the testing individual if the sample is incomplete and testing needs to be repeated.
Finding the best breathalyzer for your needs may also depend on recalibration requirements. The majority of both personal breathalyzer and professional breathalyzer models need to be returned to the manufacturer after a number of tests so that they can be re-calibrated and shipped back. This is usually done every 1,000 tests (some don’t require recalibration for 1,500 tests) at a cost of about $30-$50. For individuals, it’s likely that the recalibration needs will be a lot less than those devices used for professional use. Either way, it is important, for the greatest accuracy that the devices are re-calibrated and that testing is done as directed by the manufacturer.
When deciding on the correct device for your personal use, its best to take all the above information into account. It’s also a wise idea to hop online a read individual reviews form people who have used the devices such as on Amazon. No matter what device you decide to use, you can be rest assured that you won’t be driving under the influence and pose no danger to yourself or others on the road.