Alcohol Breathalyzers – Simple Devices to Detect Blood Alcohol Levels

Alcohol breathalyzers are simple and easy to use tools that detect blood alcohol levels. They are intended for personal as well as professional use to control alcohol abuse.

What are breathalyzers and how they work?
Breathalyzers are simple devices to find an estimated measure of blood alcohol content (BAC) from a breath sample. However, they do not directly find the blood alcohol levels. They determine the alcohol concentration in breath sample and calculate the corresponding BAC levels from it. Various technologies such as fuel cell, infrared spectrophotometer and semiconductor technologies are used by breathalyzers.

• Let’s first know about electrochemical fuel cell breathalyzers. A chemical reaction occurs in the fuel cell and current is produced when an individual who consumed alcohol exhales into this breathalyzer. According to the readings of the current, BAC is estimated.

• Breathalyzers using infrared spectrophotometer technology measure alcohol levels using infrared light. Alcohol molecules present in the breath sample are absorbed by the infrared light. These devices are table-top models and are used only in research centers and police stations.

• Semiconductor breathalyzers include ethanol-specific sensors to detect alcohol abuse. On passing voltage, current is produced across the sensors which changes with the change in resistance created by the alcoholic molecules. This change in current is used to measure the BAC.

The first two models have been in use since a long time, whereas semiconductor-based breathalyzers are advanced devices gaining popularity these days.

Breathalyzers for personal use
Alcohol breathalyzers are available in simple designs and are easy to handle and use. These characteristics make them popular tools at home to detect blood alcohol levels.

• Self-check before driving
Drunken driving is dangerous and leads to accidents. Also, you need to face legal issues when driving under the influence of alcohol. As per the regulations of the United States, it is against the law to drive when BAC level exceeds 0.08%. So, you can use alcohol breathalyzers at home to check yourself before driving. They can also be used to screen yourself at social gatherings and bars; it shows your responsible behavior.

• Detects alcohol abuse in kids and other family members
Breathalyzers are perfect tools to screen family members at home. Most often, they are used at home to detect alcohol abuse in kids. Frequently checking the habit of alcohol abuse using these simple devices can make parents control this unhealthy habit in their kids.

For professional use (law enforcement, industrial security, etc.)
Specially designed professional alcohol breathalyzers are used in law enforcement, industrial security, etc.

They play a great role in law enforcement. As per the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 11.4 percent of individuals aged 12 or older drove under the influence of alcohol at least once in 2010. The rate of driving under the influence of alcohol was found to be high among people aged between 21 and 25 years (23.4 percent). The law enforcement officials or the Department of Transportation (DOT) officials check for people driving under the influence of alcohol. This ensures avoiding the likely fatal accidents that arise due to drunken driving. Breathalyzers are also intended for industrial security. They are used at corporate offices to ensure safe environment and prevent job-site accidents caused by alcohol abusers.

Inexpensive, reliable and safe to use
Breathalyzers are available in affordable ranges. However, their price varies with the type of technology used. They provide reliable and accurate results. Advanced and standard models are used for professional purposes. Breathalyzers are also safe to use.

Use alcohol breathalyzers to keep yourself away from accidents and of course from law enforcement officials.