Best Breathalyzers in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update June 29, 2020
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime and if you don't want to get in trouble, you should use a breathalyzer. We have picked the 5 best breathalyzers for you. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Range and Accuracy
Sensor and Battery
Usability
Warranty
 
PROS

The Backlit "Twin" Blow Tube Receptor allows you to take measurements even in poor light. The Temperature Alerts will inform you if an ambient temperature can affect the accuracy of the readings.

CONS

You will have to pay for an annual recalibration from AlcoSense. 

OUR VERDICT

This professional alcohol detector from AlcoSense boasts highly accurate measurements. Its sensitive sensor reacts only to alcohol vapour, excluding false readings.

detailed parameters
Range and Accuracy

From 0.000 to 2.00‰ BAC

Sensor and Battery

Up to 300 tests on a single battery, Recalibration after 12 months, powered by 3 x ААА batteries

Usability

LCD screen, Backlit mouthpiece receiver, Don't Drive alert when close to limit, Temperature alerts, Re-calibration reminder, 24 tests memory, USB port for updates & improvements, 5 x mouthpieces, 3 x AAA batteries included

Warranty

1 year

PROS

When the measurement result exceeds 0.5 ‰ BAC, the unit warns the user with an audible alarm. The unit's LCD screen is small but readable/accessible enough. The model will be able to deliver 300 tests on a single battery, meaning you won't have to replace the batteries in the foreseeable future.

CONS

The glossy black housing makes fingerprints highly visible. 

OUR VERDICT

Kungfuren Portable Alcohol Tester is as practical and reliable as these things come. In addition to the breathalyzer, the package includes 6 mouthpieces, a cloth bag, and a user manual. The mouthpieces can be cleaned and recycled.

detailed parameters
Range and Accuracy

From 0.000 ‰ to 1.999 ‰ BAC

Sensor and Battery

High-precision semi-conductor sensor, up to 300 tests on a single battery, powered by 2 x AAA batteries

Usability

LCD screen with red backlighting, Automatic alarm calculation, Energy-saving mode, Battery level indicator, 6 mouthpieces and 1 cloth bag included

Warranty

18 months

PROS

Measuring 110 mm high, 21 mm deep, and 46 mm wide, this device easily fits most pockets. At the same time, the white frame combined with the black screen makes this breathalyzer appear especially modern and even somewhat elegant. 

CONS

The setup procedure is somewhat convoluted. 

OUR VERDICT

The AlcoSense Lite 2 makes sure that you don't get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Though fairly affordable, this breathalyzer is as accurate and reliable as they come. Also, the screen is huge.

detailed parameters
Range and Accuracy

From 0.000 to 2.00‰ BAC

Sensor and Battery

Semi-conductor (19 square mm) sensor, up to 300 tests on a single battery, recalibration after 12 months of use, powered by 3 x AAA batteries

Usability

LCD screen 28-mm diagonal, Alert when close to limit (adjustable - any UK/Irish/Scottish limit), Re-calibration reminder, 3 x AAA batteries, 6 x blow tubes included

Warranty

1 year

PROS

There will be no need to replace the standard AA(A) batteries. The 3.7-volt lithium-ion rechargeable battery will let you charge this device up using anything that has a USB port. The 20 supplied mouthpieces will let you share this breathalyzer without worrying about hygiene.  

CONS

The instructions are relatively confusing. 

OUR VERDICT

You can trust the Drivaid Alcohol Tester Breathalyzer to prevent you from making problematic and sometimes, downright terrible decisions. Its many functions make the device versatile and practical. 

detailed parameters
Range and Accuracy

From 0.000 to 2.00‰ BAC

Sensor and Battery

Powered by 3.7V Li-ion battery (included)

Usability

LCD screen with backlighting, Alarm function, Low power indication, Memory function, 4 units optional (%BAC , ‰BAC, mg/l, mg/100ml), 20 x mouthpieces

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The model comes supplied with 20 additional mouthpieces. The blue backlighting is effective enough to make the values easily readable at night. 

CONS

The screen can be difficult to read at sharp angles. 

OUR VERDICT

The VicTsing Alcohol Tester Breathalyzer is the most overall practical model on the list. It looks good but, more importantly, the tester is a pleasure to work with. You can always have it with you on the go. The model will help you avoid accidents and DUI punishments.

detailed parameters
Range and Accuracy

From 0.00 ‰ to 1.99 ‰ BAC

Sensor and Battery

Sensitive semi-conductor sensor, powered by 3 x AAA batteries

Usability

LED screen with light blue backup, 5 seconds auto shut off, Auto-alarm Function, Low power indicator, 4 units optional (%BAC , ‰BAC, mg/l, mg/100ml), 20 x mouthpieces, Storage bag

Warranty

Lifetime 

AlcoSense Excel

Stylish and Effective

The AlcoSense Excel alcohol breath tester identifies the amount of breath you exhale (it shouldn't be less than 1 litre) and takes a reading only after that to ensure accurate readings. In order to deliver even more precise results, the device fine-tunes the readings in accordance with the ambient temperature. So, no matter where you are, in sunny Spain or in snowy Norway, this tester will show the most accurate alcohol readings possible.

The full graphical intuitive interface gives clear and easy to understand measurements so that everyone can use the appliance effortlessly. The snow-white housing makes this alcohol breath tester look modern and elegant. It is also pretty compact, so if you are going to keep it in the car's glove compartment, the device will not take up much room there. In addition, there is a special slide mechanism which will protect the blow tube hole and prevent dirt from entering.

Review of AlcoSense Excel Fuel Cell Breathalyzer Alcohol Tester Breathalyser

Forewarned Is Forearmed

The AlcoSense Excel will warn you if you are over the drink drive limit or close to it. All you need to do is set the needed limit from zero to 1.00‰ BAC (0.43mg/L) according to your local law. Since the appliance can be used anywhere in the world, it is a great feature if you travel a lot. Using the table in the manual, adjust the breath and blood alcohol readings, the drink drive limit, and blood-breath ratio, and go ahead to visit new countries!

A useful tip:

You can drive in these countries after drinking

  • one and a half bottle of beer, or 300 ml of wine, or 75 ml of vodka - Germany;
  • two and a half bottle of beer, or 500 ml of wine, or 125 ml of vodka - Great Britain;
  • one and a half bottle of beer, or 300 ml of wine, or 75 ml of vodka - Finland;
  • one and a half bottle of beer, or 300 ml of wine, or 75 ml of vodka - Spain.

However, remember that this information is approximate and it is better to take a test before driving.

The manufacturer has thoughtfully fitted this alcohol breath tester with a USB port. It gives you the ability to upgrade the software and try other improvements the company offers for their products.

The appliance is able to store up to 24 test results. It is a great feature if you would like to compare the readings for some reason. And as for the number of tests, you can perform up to 300 tests on a single charge. Taking all this into account, we can say that the AlcoSense Excel Fuel Cell Breathalyser is perfect both for personal and professional use.

AlcoSense Excel Fuel Cell Breathalyzer Alcohol Tester Breathalyser in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Kungfuren _Breathalysers

More Than Compact

Kungfuren Portable Alcohol Tester is affordable, sleek, practical, and functional. Considering the model's price tag, there isn't much here to complain about. The glossy black housing makes fingerprints highly visible, that's about the only issue we have with the product in general.

Setting that aside, the model is quite brilliant. Though it is somewhat demanding on the maintenance side, the glossy pitch-black housing looks good.

The unit measures 15 x 6.8 x 2.4 centimetres in overall dimensions and weighs less than 40 grams, so you shouldn't face any issues having the breathalyzer with you anywhere and everywhere you go.

It runs on 2 AA batteries and the model doesn't burn through those batteries as fast as these devices usually do. Plus, the energy-saving mode automatically turns the unit off 15 seconds after the last interaction, making sure the batteries survive for as long as possible.

The usual battery level indicator feature is present as well, so you will not be caught off-guard without any charge at the worst time imaginable.

On the performance side, the model's high-precision semi-conductor sensor accurately displays the alcohol content in your blood within seconds.

You can always change the measurement units and set custom BAC thresholds.

Review of Kungfuren _Breathalysers Professional Alcohol Breathalyzer

Long-Lasting Accuracy

The model's detection range is pretty standard. Able to detect anything between 0.000 ‰ and 1.999 ‰ BAC, the breathalyzer will not miss the faintest hint of alcohol in your blood. Its accuracy is as solid: -0.01% ~ 0.02% at 0.05% BAC. When the measurement result exceeds 0.5 ‰ BAC, the unit warns the user with an audible alarm.

We're not saying that we haven't seen these numbers before but the fact that the model does not trail behind its more expensive competition in the accuracy department is fairly impressive. Its 15-second warm-up time and ~<10-second response time are equally impressive.

The unit's LCD screen is small but readable/accessible enough. Incorporating red backlighting, the screen lets you use the breathalyzer at night and/or in low-light conditions.

Last but not least, the model will be able to deliver 300 tests on a single battery, meaning you won't have to replace the batteries in the foreseeable future.

Bottom line, Kungfuren Portable Alcohol Tester is as practical and reliable as these things come. In addition to the breathalyzer, the package includes 6 mouthpieces, a cloth bag, and a user manual. The mouthpieces can be cleaned and recycled.

Kungfuren _Breathalysers Professional Alcohol Breathalyzer in the use

 

AlcoSense Lite 2

Accurate and Reliable

Generally speaking, there are affordable breathalyzers and then there are quality breathalyzers. These two categories seldom overlap. The AlcoSense Lite 2 is an excellent exception to this rule though. As far as we're concerned, the price makes more than enough sense considering how good this device is across the board.

To start things off, the product's semi-conductor sensor delivers high accuracy and reliability levels, arguably too high for an entry-level item. The readings will be clearly displayed on the screen to one decimal place (e.g. 0.2‰BAC). You'll always be able to make sense of these readings because the 28-millimetre LCD screen makes them more than noticeable. When you're near or over the set drink-drive limit, the "don't drive symbol will be displayed, telling you that you should probably avoid driving in this state.

Of course, different places have different restrictions. That's not an issue here. You can flick the switch and easily change the alert limits to any of the three limits in place in the United Kingdom (including Scotland) and Ireland. In other words, you won't have to send back this device or re-calibrate to change the limit.

Having said that, all breathalyzers require occasional calibration, don't trust the ones that claim otherwise. To maintain its accuracy, this device will remind you to re-calibrate the breathalyzer after 300 tests or 12 months, so you won't have to do that all too often.

Review of AlcoSense Lite 2 Breathalyzer & Alcohol Tester for UK

As Compact as They Get

As you would imagine, the "light" in the product's name comes from its slim, pocket-sized profile. Measuring 110 millimetres high, 21 millimetres deep, and 46 millimetres wide and weighing less than 150 grams (including the batteries), this device can be discreetly carried in any pocket/handbag. Plus, its white housing and the black screen create an excellent balance, making this tiny unit look modern and elegant.

Sure, the product has its flaws. The setup procedure is somewhat convoluted. Though the device is more or less streamlined, you probably won't be able to figure things out especially quickly, so don't worry about losing some time initially.

On the bright side, the product comes supplied with six blow tubes, so you won't have to purchase replacement tubes for, hopefully, quite some time.

In conclusion, the AlcoSense Lite 2 cuts no corners. Despite the affordable price tag, the device is precise, accurate, and reliable. Also, again, this breathalyzer is as compact as they come.

AlcoSense Lite 2 Breathalyzer & Alcohol Tester for UK in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Drivaid Alcohol Tester Breathalyzer

Choose the Units

Drivaid Alcohol Tester Breathalyzer looks somewhat convoluted. That's not necessarily the case though.

Sure, there's abundant information available/usually present on the screen, so you might take some time to figure these values/readings out. The instructions that come supplied with this device are not as helpful as they should be. Some might even find them confusing.

Having said that, we wouldn't say that the device is necessarily difficult to set up and operate. Plus, once you figure these settings out, this breathalyzer will become accessible, comfortable, and more convenient than these things usually are.

Again, the sizable LCD screen presents many different values. And, again, they're not that difficult.

First, you can choose between four optional units (%BAC, ‰BAC, mg/l, and mg/100ml). These are there for comfort and to make sure that you're able to select the preferred units.

Apart from that, the device comes equipped with an alarm feature that will blast this surprisingly loud (but not too loud) alarm to notify you that you shouldn't be driving when the alcohol levels reach the set limit. Furthermore, the device will flash red ten times to make absolutely sure that you know you must avoid driving right now.

The memory feature is usually reserved for more expensive models, so the fact that it is available here is a nice surprise. This feature saves the last 20 tests, so you'll be able to access them and draw the right conclusions when necessary.

Review of Drivaid Alcohol Tester Breathalyzer Portable High-Accurate Breathalyzer with 20 Mouthpieces

Rechargeable Battery

Of course, there are some standard features too. The low power indicator, surprisingly enough, will tell you when the battery will start approaching its limit. On that note, the device runs on this 3.7-volt Li-ion battery that's included in the package, which is an excellent change of pace from the usual deal since you won't have to replace the batteries all the time. Plus, you'll be able to recharge the breathalyzer from any device with a USB port.

The device's semi-conductor sensor is pretty accurate. Using the only available (and necessary) button, you'll be able to turn the device on and off, as well as view the total number of tests performed.

In addition to the breathalyzer, the package comes supplied with 20 mouthpieces, so you'll be able to share this device between friends to figure out who's the one that should be driving you home.

Long story short, Drivaid Alcohol Tester Breathalyzer will make sure you don't make any questionable decisions that might jeopardise your safety and security. Also, the device is pretty compact. 

Drivaid Alcohol Tester Breathalyzer Portable High-Accurate Breathalyzer with 20 Mouthpieces in the use

 

VicTsing Alcohol Tester Breathalyzer

Read the Values at Night

The VicTsing Alcohol Tester Breathalyzer makes a pretty appealing case with its high-tech build/profile alone. The model's black housing with silver accents, streamlined aesthetic, and purposefully soft lines and curves make it a pleasure to work with.

The large LCD screen incorporates blue backlighting, making it possible to read the values/results at night. The only issue we have with the screen is that the viewing angles could definitely use some improvement since it can be difficult to read the results at sharp angles. Other than that, it is about as practical, attractive, and functional as it gets.

The model's overall look and form factor is pretty appealing too. Featuring a space-saving, lightweight, and portable design, the pocket-sized tester is really easy to hold and carry everywhere. Plus, the model comes with this nice little cloth bag, making storage and transportation even more convenient.

Range and accuracy-wise, the breathalyzer is as good as the next model. It will be able to detect traces of alcohol between 0.00 ‰ and 1.99 ‰ BAC. More often than not, the unit will have no issues delivering the results within seconds. As per usual, the breathalyzer will allow you to switch between four measurement units (%BAC, ‰BAC, mg/l, mg/100ml), making the model practical enough for slightly different needs and preferences.

Review of VicTsing Alcohol Tester Breathalyzer with 20 Mouthpieces 【Professional Accurate】

The Right Functionality

As far as we're concerned, the model's functionality is probably its biggest selling point. There's a 5-second automatic shut-off feature that works wonders saving batteries in the long run. The usual automatic alarm function here has been very well implemented. It is neither too loud nor too obnoxious but, at the same time, you'll unlikely find it underwhelming. The low power indicator is nothing we haven't seen before but it is nice that the function is there in the first place.

There isn't much we can say about the model's semi-conductor sensor. It is accurate and sensitive but not much more than that. As it is often the case, the sensor runs on 3 x AAA batteries. The necessary batteries do not come with the package but you can always order them separately or buy them at the nearest convenience store. What does come with the package, however, is a nice mouthpiece pack that includes 20 pieces. With so many supplementary mouthpieces, you're unlikely to run out in the foreseeable future.

Long story short, the VicTsing Alcohol Tester Breathalyzer is the most overall practical model on the list. It looks good but, more importantly, the tester is a pleasure to work with. You can always have it with you on the go. The model will help you avoid accidents and DUI punishments.

VicTsing Alcohol Tester Breathalyzer with 20 Mouthpieces 【Professional Accurate】 in the use

 

What Is a Breathylyzer?

A breathalyzer is a device which measures the level of alcohol in the body. They are different in mode of operation: some use platinum fuel cell sensor, others are based on semiconductors. If you think you do not need a car breathalyzer you are mistaken - you need to know the alcohol level in your body when you drive after drinking some alcohol. Keep in mind the driving under the influence (or DUI) is a very serious crime and you are sure to avoid it. Moreover, people under the influence of alcohol are more abstracted which is extremely dangerous on the road. In order to prevent accidents and not to crash your or somebody else's car, you should be absolutely focused on the driving process and, of course, control the level of alcohol in your system.

If you are a driver, you might also be interested in car cameras, whereas those who often travel or feel uncertain about driving in unknown locations might want to read our review of Car GPS trackers.

What Features to Compare

When you are about to choose a car breathalizer you do not need to know too much. The Internet is full of different breathalyzer reviews but most of them are overloaded with technical details and are difficult to understand. That is why we have done our best to make our breathalyzer review crystal clear and informative. There are several basic features that will help you select the best device.

Range and Accuracy

The first one is range and accuracy. No need to say you must be sure the alcohol level does not exceed an allowed limit (it depends on a country you live in). The range is measured in % BAC and the best breathalyzers ensure the accuracy from 0,000% BAC while less precise devices start from 0,00% BAC. Having said that, sometimes these devices let you choose between different units, including %BAC, ‰BAC, mg/l, and mg/100ml. When that's the case, you're able to select the units that make the most sense to you. Of course, no breathalyzer can be faultless, so you need to check the accuracy too.

Sensor and Batteries

The next important features are the sensor and batteries. Every device requires batteries (different types) and the time it remains active is different. A lot depends on how often you take measurements - if you do it every day, then no matter how good a battery is - you will not be able to use a breathalyzer for a year. Also, every sensor has to be re-calibrated from time to time, otherwise, the device will not be accurate enough. Some models need re-calibration every 200 breathalyzer tests. More often than not though, these devices are able to provide ~300 accurate tests before you should re-calibrate them.

Usability

The last feature to consider is usability. Needless to say, breathalyzers should be easy in use and simple to configure. The best devices work via special breathalyzer apps available for Android and/or iOS devices (smartphone or tablet, for example). These breathalyzer apps will also count the time you can drive (if your alcohol level is too high), advise you how much you should drink, and so on.

Sometimes, these devices come supplied with interchangeable mouthpieces. As you would imagine, these mouthpieces let you share the breathalyzer with friends and family, which is nice sometimes when you're hanging out and have to figure out who's driving you all home this time.

Other times, these devices use blow tubes rather than mouthpieces. Generally speaking, the difference between these tubes and 'pieces is that the former last longer. They're also usually more expensive though.

FAQ:

Q: What is a professional breathalyzer? 

A: A standard breathalyzer is a technical device designed for quantitative or qualitative measurement of the concentration of ethanol in a person's breath or blood through exhaled air. As a rule, its roughness is not standardized and it is not metrologically calibrated. A professional breathalyzer is a similar device, but it has a specified roughness and metrological calibration.

Q: What are the main differences of alcohol testers?

A: Breathalyzers are distinguished by:

- type: chemical, electrochemical, spiral, and electronic;

- function: professional and personal;

- type of sensor: electrochemical and semiconductive.

Q: How often should a breathalyser be recalibrated?

A: First of all, you should know that only professional breathalyzers can be recalibrated. The frequency of this procedure is indicated in the description of the appliance. Most models of alcohol testers require recalibration once a year.

Q: How does a breathalyzer work?

A: Depending on the model, a tester has an inlet or a mouthpiece where you should blow. The breathing-out time varies from 2 to 5 seconds. Within a few seconds after that, the device sensor will process the received data, determine how much alcohol is contained in the breath, and show the results on the display.

Q: What is a breathalyser sensor?

A: The sensor is a sensitive detector installed inside the device. A sensor contains a special reacting substance. This element comes into contact with vapours of ethyl alcohol and determines its volume in the exhaled air. Simple testers have semiconductive sensors, while more professional models are fitted with electrochemical ones. The semiconductive sensors are less accurate and they might not work if the temperature drops below 0 °C.

Q: How often should I charge a breathalyzer?

A: There is no need to charge a device, it works on batteries. Just do not forget to replace them in time. The majority of breathalyzers have "battery low indicators", so it won't be a problem.

Q: How many times a day can I use the breathalyzer?

A: It is recommended to use a personal breathalyzer up to 5 times a day, while professional breathalyzers can be used up to 300 times. The sensor of each device is designed for a certain number of uses (from 300 to 1500 blows). Then, it should be replaced or recalibrated. Simple testers need to "rest" for about 20 seconds after blowing, while professional breathalyzers can be used without breaks between blows.

Sources:

1. Breathalyzer, Wikipedia. October 20, 2017.

2. How Does A Breathalyzer Test Work? Forbes. October 13, 2016.

3. Craig Freudenrich How Breathalyzers Work, HowStuffWorks.

4. How Does a Breathalyzer Work? Mental Floss. October 10, 2016.

5. Jason Cipriani Can you trust a smartphone breathalyzer? Fortune. December 23, 2014.

6. How to Beat a Breathalyzer, wikiHow.

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Publish Date: 2017-11-02 13:02:34