Best Breathalyzers in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 2, 2017
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 2017
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; Uses 3 ААА batteries

Usability

LCD display, 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

You do not have to interpret the readings by yourself anymore. The Bi Colour Safe System (BCSS) will clearly inform you whether you can or can not drive.

CONS

It shows measurements in mg/l only.

OUR VERDICT

You can use this compact and ergonomic device in any country and get accurate readings in accordance with the UK, Scottish, Irish, and European Police standard limits.

detailed parameters
Range and Accuracy

From 0.000 to 0.95mg/l

Sensor and Battery

Uses 2 AAA batteries 

Usability

LCD screen with Bi-colour traffic light system, Auto shut down, Error sensing technology, 3 x hard plastic mouthpieces (reusable), 2 x AAA batteries

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The regular ASC function activation will help you extend the service life of the device. The oxidized alcohol vapours will be removed from the sensor.

CONS

To get the most accurate readings, you have to make a break between tests for at least 1 minute.

OUR VERDICT

This personal AlcoSense breathalyzer is extremely simple to use. You will see the test results on an easy-to-read digital display. The kit includes 5 changeable mouthpieces.

detailed parameters
Range and Accuracy

From 0.000 to 1.2‰ BAC

Sensor and Battery

Recalibration after 12 months; Uses 3 ААА batteries

Usability

LCD screen, ASC feature, Don't Drive alert when close to limit, 5 x blow tubes

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The readings can be converted into four variants: % BAC, ‰ BAC, mg/l, mg/100ml. The set includes 20 replaceable mouthpieces.

CONS

Batteries are not included in the set.

OUR VERDICT

This portable breathalyzer will determine the blood alcohol concentration in just a few seconds. The device will be turned off automatically after 5 seconds of inactivity.

detailed parameters
Range and Accuracy

From 0.00 to 1.99‰ BAC

Sensor and Battery

Uses 3 AAA batteries

Usability

LCD Screen, Auto-alarm Function, Energy-saving Mode, 20 Additional Mouthpieces Included

Warranty

30 days

PROS

You will interpret the readings effortlessly - the crystals inside the tube change colour from yellow to green if your blood alcohol level is high. The brighter green you get, the higher the concentration of alcohol in your blood is.

CONS

It is suitable only for one-shot usage.

OUR VERDICT

The AlcoSense ALCNFTWIN complies with the French standards (NF Approved). So, this kit is indispensable for travelling to France by car. You will always get accurate readings.

detailed parameters
Range and Accuracy

From 0.000 to 0.6‰ BAC

Sensor and Battery

Chemical sensor

Usability

A protective cover for each tester

Warranty

2 years

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 unpleasant 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 backup cameras, whereas those who have just received the license might want to read about parking sensors.

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.

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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

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 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

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


AlcoSense Excel
AlcoSense Excel
 

AlcoSAFE CA10FS

As Simple As a Pie

If we compare the AlcoSAFE CA10FS Pro Breathalyzer with other models of this price band, it will stand out from them with its fuel cell sensor. Considering that a lot of Police devices use such kind of sensor, you can be sure the AlcoSAFE CA10FS delivers as high accuracy as possible. Moreover, you will not have troubles with interpreting the readings. The device offers the Bi Colour Safe System (Traffic Light System) which will let you know if everything is OK and vice versa. The principle is pretty simple. Any breath reading is followed by a red or green light where red means "do not drive" and green says "go ahead". Just like the traffic light!

The manufacturer included free batteries in the set, so you will not have to spend extra money. Plus, this allows you to use the device right out-of-the-box.

Review of AlcoSAFE CA10FS

Wherever You Are

The AlcoSAFE CA10 is a versatile device to use all around the globe. Generally, the producer calibrated this alcohol tester to UK Police standard measurements. To be more accurate, the UK limit is 0.35 mg/L while the Irish and Scottish limit is 0.22 mg/L. The European limits vary by country, but an average index is about 0.22 mg/L.

Sometimes, we need to get rid of the alcohol in the body as quickly as possible. In this case, you should drink a lot of water and walk in the fresh air. Also, it makes sense to drink a cup (or a few) of coffee or sweet strong tea. Caffeine, contained in tea, has a diuretic effect, which will somewhat speed up the excretion of alcohol. In addition, the biological effect of caffeine is opposite to that of alcohol: it alleviates problems with focusing ( the main symptom of intoxication). Also, you can take a cold and hot shower. Start with hot, and then abruptly switch it to cold. Do this procedure several times to feel better. However, remember: if you still feel bad after these procedures, it is better not to drive.

AlcoSAFE CA10FS in the use

You Can Be Interested In..

If you spend pretty much time in your car, you probably know that there is always no place for a mobile phone. However, you can change that by purchasing a special holder for your gadget. Look through our review on car phone holders and take your pick.

Detailed review of AlcoSAFE CA10FS

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


AlcoSAFE CA10FS
AlcoSAFE CA10FS
 

AlcoSense Lite

So Easy to Use

The AlcoSense company designs its products, focusing on the demands and needs of their customers. The AlcoSense Lite Breathalyzer & Alcohol Tester is an easy-to-use device that will show you whether the alcohol has already broken down and cleared from your system or not. Moreover, this device will let you know when you can feel safe to drive. The unit is pre-programmed for the UK and Irish drink driving limit, which makes it suitable for use in both countries.

The AlcoSense Lite is designed to become your helpful assistant in curious situations. After a party, you can take a test and, according to the reading, decide whether you will drive your car or not. AlcoSense really cares for your safety! Being extremely easy to handle, this unit will do its job perfectly and show accurate measurements. All you need to do is turn the appliance on, let it count down to zero, and then blow until it beeps. As for the level of intoxication, this AlcoSense Lite tester shows it in ‰ BAC and 0.1 increments.

Review of AlcoSense Lite

Surprisingly Accurate

The AlcoSense engineers thoroughly create their products. Before release, they test every breathalyzer for at least three times. Therefore, you can be absolutely sure about the high quality of this tester. Although the AlcoSense Lite personal breathalyzer is a quite affordable device, it boasts a great accuracy level (+/-0.2‰ BAC). If you are looking for a budget-friendly breathalyzer for personal use, then purchasing this unit will be a wise investment.

A piece of advice: it is recommended to wait for some time (at least for one minute) between the tests so that residual alcohol can evaporate from the blow chamber. If you follow this tip, you will get more precise readings.

AlcoSense Lite in the use

Great For Travelling in the UK

According to the Scottish legislation, the drink driving limit there makes 0.5‰ BAC (50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood). Earlier, the limit was 0.8‰ BAC, but on the fifth of December 2014, the government decided to lower the limit. However, England and Wales still have the acceptable alcohol levels of 0.8‰.

AlcoSense offers two options of this tester - Scottish and English. The Scottish breathalizer shows "Don’t Drive" alert from 0.3‰ BAC and higher, while the English/Welsh alcohol tester displays the warning from 0.6‰ BAC.

Detailed review of AlcoSense Lite

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


AlcoSense Lite
AlcoSense Lite
 

VicTsing AT0615

Sensitive and Fast

The VicTsing company offers an alcohol breathalyzer which deftly combines useful functions and ergonomic design. Using the semiconductor sensor, this device will quickly measure the concentration of alcohol in your body and inform you whether you are allowed to drive or not. And all this will take you just five seconds! The test results boast pretty good accuracy (up to 0.01mg/l). In addition, you can choose one of four measurement units (%BAC, ‰BAC, mg/l, mg/100ml).

With the innovative smart MCU control function, you will always be informed by video and audio warning when the reading is above 0.05%BAC (or 0.50 ‰BAC, or 0.25mg/l, or 50mg/100ml, accordingly).

All the results are displayed on a large digital LCD screen. And thanks to the blue back-light, this pocket-sized breathalyzer will be convenient to use even in the dark. The delivery package includes 20 mouthpieces, so after a big party, you can test not only yourself but also your family members and friends.

Review of VicTsing AT0615

A Compact Unit

With usability and ergonomics in mind, the manufacturer has equipped the VicTsing Breathalyzer with an auto-off function. After 5 seconds in the standby mode, the appliance will shut off automatically. This option will save the battery energy and make the breathalyzer serve longer. One battery set is capable of performing more than 200 alcohol breath tests. The device is fitted with low power indication, so you'll always know when it's time to replace the batteries.

After you turn the appliance on, let the device warm up for 15 seconds. Then it will beep, and you can blow. Owing to the compact palm-size design and light weight, this breathalyzer is pretty space-saving. So, you can carry it with you just anywhere.

VicTsing AT0615 in the use

Useful to Know

The given model will show you adequate results if you use it at least twenty minutes after the last jolt of alcohol. Otherwise, the readings might be incorrect. Also, the manufacturer recommends waiting for 3 minutes before starting a new test.

You should not use this personal breathalyzer in the environment filled with pesticide, paint, alcohol, and other corrosive gases. The best way to get a true result is to take a test in the open air. Also, the device should not be stored near strong-smelling objects. If you follow all these instructions, this breathalyzer will become a reliable accessory in your pocket.

Detailed review of VicTsing AT0615

VicTsing AT0615
VicTsing AT0615
 

AlcoSense ALCNFTWIN

Always At Hand

Look at this unusual set of AlcoSense breathalysers. These miniature tubes will be essential if you are going to visit France, as the French legislation requires having at least one unused alcohol test in the vehicle. And, considering that there are two tests in the set and these breathalysers are NF approved, this kit fully meets the legal requirements of France.

This appliance is really simple to use. For greater convenience, the manufacturer provides clear instructions and interpretations both on the breath-bag and on the pack. The whole procedure of testing will take you less than 2 minutes. These breathalysers are really compact, so you can keep them in your glove box or just put them in your first aid kit.

This AlcoSence breathalyser kit is incredibly cheap yet effective. Isn't it a good buy?

Review of AlcoSense ALCNFTWIN

How It Works

First of all, remember that you can carry out a test at least 10 minutes after drinking. This AlcoSense breathalyzer must be used within 5 minutes after opening.

To perform a test, you should:

1. Break off the ends of the white and red caps on the tube, shake out the crystals inside the tube, and discard some of them. The crystals are absolutely harmless.

2. Blow into the special bag, fully inflating it with one continuous exhale.

3. Then, insert the tester cap end (white) into the bag neck (white, too).

4. Compress the bag carefully and slowly to make the air inside fully expel through the tube of the tester.

5. Interpret the test results in the good lighting conditions.

If the crystals are not getting green or the green colour change progression does not reach the red line, then you are under the legal limit and can drive.

And if you are over the drink driving limit, the yellow crystals will change the colour into green. In this case, it is strongly recommended not to drive any vehicle and wait until the alcohol content dissipates to the legal level (do not forget to take a re-test). You should keep in mind that dissipation can take considerable time.

AlcoSense ALCNFTWIN in the use

The Main Benefits

Here are the reasons why customers worldwide choose this product:

  • It is certified to NF standards;
  • The tester is very simple to use;
  • It has a compact size;
  • The appliance ensures quick results;
  • It is really cheap.

Are you now convinced that this breathalyser is a must-have thing in your car?

Detailed review of AlcoSense ALCNFTWIN

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


AlcoSense ALCNFTWIN
AlcoSense ALCNFTWIN
 

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