Best Breathalyzers in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 6, 2019
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 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Range and Accuracy
Sensor and Battery
Usability
Warranty
 
PROS

You can select the country/region you're currently driving in from the menu and have the software set up for you according to the local legislation. The 128-test memory with time and date stamp will let you keep track, record, and analyze your history.

CONS

The sliding mechanism is a little flimsy. 

OUR VERDICT

AlcoSense PRO is different. We can definitely get behind the "pro" part in the product's name. The high-tech model is intricate and sophisticated but accessible and straightforward at the same time. You won't see its functionality anywhere else.

detailed parameters
Range and Accuracy

From 0.000 to 4.00‰ BAC

Sensor and Battery

Up to 400 tests on a single battery or one year in standby. Recalibration after 11 months of use, powered by 3 x AAA batteries

Usability

Full colour TFT screen, 128-test memory with time and date stamp, BlowCoach (patent pending), Pre-loaded database of countries and limits (patent pending), Re-calibration alert, Backlit “twin” blow tube receptor, 4 units optional (%BAC / ‰BAC / mg/L / µg/100mL), 5 mouthpieces and 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

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

It doesn't take the model more than 15 seconds to warm up. The breathalyzer's operating temperature range allows the unit to work in any environment anywhere between -10 °C and 50 °C.

CONS

The audio warning is a little loud. 

OUR VERDICT

The Kungfuren Professional Alcohol Breathalyzer is everything that an alcohol tester is supposed to be at this price range and then some for good measure. The model's ergonomic profile is a pleasure to work with. It is about as accurate and precise as the next professional alcohol tester.

detailed parameters
Range and Accuracy

From 0.000 ‰ to 1.999 ‰ BAC

Sensor and Battery

High-precision semi-conductor sensor, powered by 3 x AAA LR03 batteries

Usability

LED screen with light blue backup, 20 seconds auto shut off, Audio warning, Low voltage indicator, 3 units optional (%BAC / ‰BAC / mg/L), 5 x mouthpieces, Store bag

Warranty

1 year

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 PRO

Advanced Software and Sensors

AlcoSense PRO is the most high-tech device on this list. This thing is much more intricate and feature-rich than every other breathalyzer we've looked at. There are many major and minor details that contribute to the product's overall presence but the biggest contributor is probably the full-colour 1.8-inch TFT screen. The fully graphical user interface makes the device especially easy to use. The software gives you prompts and instructions on the screen. The menu system is intuitive and accessible.

The model's Fuel Cell accuracy is just as impressive though. Using the 121-mm² version of the 200-mm² Fuel Cell sensor used in many UK, US & European Police breathalyzers, the model offers unrivalled accuracy at this price point.

At the same time, the device's clever software prevents under-reading. For example, instead of the usual tolerance of +/-0.05‰BAC, the model’s tolerance is +0.10‰BAC, -0.00‰BAC. These numbers mean that the breathalyzer will read slightly on the safer side, not too low and twice more accurate compared to its Elite predecessor.

The company's advanced sampling system has been improved here as well. This time, there's virtually no chance anything but the deep lung air (the most accurate breath part) is measured. The model's advanced sensors measure the blow pressure, flow rate, and breath volume exhaled, providing readings only when 1 litre of air has been exhaled, making sure that the sample taken is always the most accurate one. Furthermore, the model's readings are fine-tuned according to temperature.

Review of AlcoSense PRO Fuel Cell Breathalyser/Breathalyzer & Alcohol Tester

Patent-Pending Tech

Most breathalyzers fail to accurately measure your alcohol levels because you either blow too hard, too soft, or not for long enough. The company's patent-pending BlowCoach tech eliminates the issue, dramatically reducing the learning curve and making the device simple and much more accessible.

Another patent-pending tech is the ability to select the country/region you're currently driving in from the menu and have the software set up for you according to the local legislation.

Other than that, we really like the backlit “twin” blow tube receptor that will make the device easy to use in low-light conditions. The 128-test memory with time and date stamp will let you keep track, record, and analyse your history.

Long story short, AlcoSense PRO is different. We can definitely get behind the "pro" part in the product's name. The high-tech model is intricate and sophisticated but accessible and straightforward at the same time. You won't see its functionality anywhere else.

AlcoSense PRO Fuel Cell Breathalyser/Breathalyzer & Alcohol Tester 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 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.

AlcoSense Excel Fuel Cell Breathalyzer Alcohol Tester Breathalyser in the use

Other Features

The manufacturer has thoughtfully fitted this alcohol breath tester with a USB port. It gives you an 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.

Detailed review of AlcoSense Excel Fuel Cell Breathalyzer Alcohol Tester Breathalyser

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

kungfuren Breathalysers

Accessible Values

The Kungfuren Professional Alcohol Breathalyzer is really affordable despite the "professional" part. The model's cheap price-wise but its functionality is anything but cheap. Let's pivot a little though.

First, we would like to cover the whole package. It's nothing we haven't seen before but the additional accessories are an always welcome addition to the package. The storage bag that comes with the unit is simple and reliable. It will help with transportation and, needless to say, storage.

The 5 mouthpieces that come with the package are a nice touch too. These mouthpieces can be cleaned and recycled. As you would imagine, these mouthpieces make it much easier for your family and/or friend to test. The people behind the product would like to add that these mouthpieces can be found when you open the back cover located on top of the battery compartment.

Now, the battery compartment leads us to the batteries necessary to use the breathalyzer. Unfortunately, the required 3 "AAA" LR03 batteries do not come supplied with the package but you can find these things at just about any convenience store or order online separately from the alcohol tester.

All in all, the breathalyzer is extremely easy to use. Just insert the batteries, turn the unit on and begin testing. The model will let you easily change the measurement units and set user-defined BAC thresholds for testing. The LED screen with blue backlighting displays every necessary piece of information. The values are easy to read and just as easily accessible.

Review of kungfuren Breathalysers Professional Alcohol Breathalyzer Portable Breathalyser

Any Environment Will Do

On the range and accuracy fronts, the model is as professional as they come. It is able to detect anything from 0.000 ‰ to 1.999 ‰ BAC. More often than not, it doesn't take the unit more than 15 seconds to warm up. The 10-second response time is nothing to write home about but, at the same time, well above average.

The model's operating temperature range is pretty impressive though. It has no issues working in any environment anywhere between -10 °C and 50 °C.

On one hand, the audio warning is a nice touch. On the other hand, it is a little too loud for our taste, so we wouldn't necessarily put it under pros category.

Another nice touch is the flickering that the screen initiates to indicate low battery status. The model will be able to automatically shut off in 20 seconds to save power after you finish the test.

All things considered, the Kungfuren Professional Alcohol Breathalyzer is everything that an alcohol tester is supposed to be at this price range and then some for good measure. The model's ergonomic profile is a pleasure to work with. It is about as accurate and precise as the next professional alcohol tester.

kungfuren Breathalysers Professional Alcohol Breathalyzer Portable Breathalyser 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.

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. Also, no breathalyzer can be faultless, so you need to check the accuracy too.

The next important feature is Sensor and Battery. 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 recalibrated from time to time, otherwise the device will not be accurate enough. Some models need recalibration every 200 breathalyzer tests.

The last feature to consider is the Usability - a car breathalyzer should be easy in use and simple to configure. The best devices work via a special breathalyzer app for an Android or iOS device (smartphone or tablet, for example). The breathalyzer app 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. Other devices go with a set of interchangeable mouthpieces.

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