Best Breathalyzers in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update July 10, 2021
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
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BEST 2021
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 and delivering reliable results. 

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

The model can store and recall the last 9 results. The recalibration alert will notify you when you approach 12 months or 300 tests, reminding you that you should recalibrate the device. 

CONS

The tubes are very long (can be slightly bulky to carry around).

OUR VERDICT

As good as its predecessors were, the AlcoSense Elite 3 is in its own class accuracy-, convenience-, and durability-wise. Automatically cleaning the semiconductor's sensor, the model prevents oxidisation, ensuring long-term accuracy.

detailed parameters
Range and Accuracy

From 0.000 to 2.00‰ BAC

Sensor and Battery

Premium semiconductor (28 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 with colour-coded results, Alert when close to limit (adjustable - any UK/Irish/Scottish limit), Memory recall of last 9 results, Recalibration reminder, 3 x AAA batteries, 6 x blow tubes included

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Measuring 110 mm high, 21 mm deep, and 46 mm wide, this device easily fits most pockets. 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

Semiconductor (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), Recalibration reminder, 3 x AAA batteries, 6 x blow tubes included

Warranty

1 year

PROS

To go with the breathalyser, the people behind this set also send you 10 BPA-free mouth tips and a travel case. Using the case, you can store and transport the mouth tips without worrying about hygiene. 

CONS

The LCD screen is small. 

OUR VERDICT

The BLO-UK Alcohol Breathalyser is one of the more compact and easy-to-use models today. Plus, with its electronic valve technology, the model minimises false readings, keeping the test results always accurate.

detailed parameters
Range and Accuracy

From 0.000 to 2.00‰ BAC

Sensor and Battery

Super sensitive semiconductor sensor system, powered by 2 x AA batteries 

Usability

LCD screen with colour-coded results, Alert when close to limit, 10 x BPA-free mouth tips and storage pouch included

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The breathalyser integrates an emergency hammer. With it, you should be able to break an average car's window and exit it in case of an accident. You can choose between % BAC, ‰ BAC, mg/l, and mg/100 mL. 

CONS

The model requires frequent calibration. 

OUR VERDICT

The Drivaid Altester-FYX offers the most thorough package in its price bracket. Aside from the breathalyser, the kit includes 16 BPA-free mouth tips and a USB charging cable for its rechargeable battery.

detailed parameters
Range and Accuracy

From 0.08 ~ 1.80 ‰ BAC

Sensor and Battery

Super sensitive semiconductor sensor system, powered by rechargeable battery 

Usability

LCD screen, Alert when close to limit, Emergency hammer, 16 x BPA-free mouth tips and USB charging cable included

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

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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 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

Last updated price £99.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B01MFCPD9D

 

AlcoSense Elite 3

Joining the Elite Club

'Elite' and 'breathalysers' are two words that seldom hang together. That being said, some of these devices are better than others, so it makes sense that some could even be described as 'elite'. On that note, the AlcoSense Elite 3 very much fits within that group. First (though not necessarily foremost), this device looks clean but functional at the same time. Despite its all-white (apart from the black screen frame) housing, the model is not stained as easily as light-coloured electronics usually are.

Also, unlike its predecessors (and peers from different companies), this clean-looking fellow employs a much less space-saving screen. Its size is not stated but the entire device measures 19.5 x 11.1 x 4 centimetres and the screen makes up around 40% of its size, so it is quite large. With its increased screen real estate, the model makes the results from at least a metre or two.

Of course, not unlike its step-down relatives (as well as breathalysers from competing brands), this device also incorporates colour-coded results. When you test below 0.10‰ BAC (meaning that there's no alcohol at all or insignificant trace amounts), the screen illuminates green. When the alcohol level reaches somewhere around 0.25‰ BAC (the exact limits will depend on the limits you've set), the screen's background will turn amber, telling you that there's some alcohol in your system but, as far as the question of legality is concerned, you can drive. Finally, if you hit ~0.48‰ BAC (again, depending on the set drink-drive limit), closing to or testing over the limit, the screen will turn red and display a 'don't drive' symbol.

Review of AlcoSense Elite 3 Breathalyzer & Alcohol Tester for UK

More Accurate, More Durable

But the more impressive thing about this device is its accuracy. Equipped with a premium 28-square-metre semiconductor, the model is 30% more accurate than the Elite 2. What's even more important is that this alcohol tester's less sensitive to drift between calibrations, which that its long-term accuracy is also improved.

Features-wise, the model will let you store the last 9 results. Press and hold the history button (the one below the power button) and you can access these results. Reviewing the overall package, this device is shipped with 3 AAA batteries and 6 blow tubes, which is the same set that entailed previous Elite iterations.

In short, the AlcoSense Elite 3 might be the best breathalyser on the market today. It is easy-to-use, accurate, and reliable. Plus, automatically performing a sensor clean every time you use it (as well as periodically performing deep sensor cleans), the model is more durable than most.

AlcoSense Elite 3 Breathalyzer & Alcohol Tester for UK in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £129.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07YQ7QX2J

 

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

Last updated price £44.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07RZTHPQR

 

BLO (BLO01B)

Colour-Coded Results

The BLO-UK Alcohol Breathalyser appears almost futuristic, which is not necessarily the most critical breathalysers' aspect but we won't complain when the device looks good as long as its primary objective is not compromised. Needless to say, the primary objective of these breath testers is delivering fast and accurate test results, which the subject model is quite good at. But, back to the appearance part, this device has a sleek, glossy, all-white finish that presents a more expensive front than you would presume based on its price tag. The tube is easy to pull out and push back in. The single button that the model comes equipped with makes controls pretty easy as well.

The breathalyser's display is where things get a little dicey though. On the one hand, the screen provides colour-coded test results, so you can tell what's going on and whether or not you should get behind the steering wheel simply by 'studying' the numbers. On the other hand, as convenient as it is, the screen is also very small and, from time to time, you will need the exact numbers. And, because the screen is not very large, the numbers on it are also not that huge, so you'll have to stare at them up close and personal, so to speak.

On the bright side, the semiconductor sensor system that is inside this device is extra-sensitive, delivering accurate results without you smothering the test tube or wasting more time than necessary. As it is usually the case (unless we're discussing low-end breathalysers), the model can detect alcohol levels between 0.000 and 2.00‰ BAC, ranging from nonexistent to trace amounts to absurd levels.

Review of BLO (BLO01B) Alcohol Breathalyser and Portable Breath Tester

10 BPA-Free Mouth Tips Included

Aside from colour-coding the results, the model will also issue an automatic alarm sound when you exceed 0.05‰ BAC. The limit is not adjustable but they're usually pretty much the same across the British Isles, so this should not be a problem.

What should also not be a problem is the 10 BPA-free mouth tips and the storage pouch that come with the kit. As you would imagine, the storage pouch will let you store and transport these tips without losing them (which is easy to do as they are quite small), whilst the tip themselves will make sure you always have one at hand for a long time without purchasing them separately.

Bottom line, when there's a chance you might have a drink or two but will have to drive regardless sometime later, you won't go wrong taking the BLO-UK Alcohol Breathalyser with you.

BLO (BLO01B) Alcohol Breathalyser and Portable Breath Tester in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £29.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B086RXK25B

 

Drivaid Altester-FYX

Doing its Job

The Drivaid Altester-FYX is not the elegant-looking device that the previous breathalysers on this list were. At the same time, who cares whether these devices are attractive or not? Well, some people probably do, but they're in the minority without a doubt. They're not entertainment-oriented gadgets. You don't use these devices day in, day out or spend hours staring at them on a frequent basis. All you need from a tool like that is the ability to pull it out, receive an accurate alcohol level test results in a timely and convenient fashion, and proceed based on what the test has shown you. With this mindset, the subject model is no worse than its more expensive competition.

Sure, starting at 0.08 and capping at 1.80‰ BAC, the breathalyser's range is a little less wide/long. Again, though, who cares? The difference between 0.00 and 0.08‰ is negligible and whether you test 1.80‰ or the 2.00‰ BAC that the less affordable models can test, you're in no condition to drive regardless.

What is a touch more disappointing is that this device requires more frequent calibration than its step-up counterparts. Whilst the more budget-hostile devices can usually provide accurate results for 12 months/300 tests before requiring recalibration, this one starts losing its accuracy around the ~9-month or 250-test mark, making its long-term use not quite as convenient as the previous breathalysers'.

Review of Drivaid Altester-FYX Breathalyzer

Built-in Emergency Hammer

Despite being more value-oriented, the Drivaid Altester-FYX also has its advantages compared to the devices that we've reviewed above. To start with, the model comes with a rechargeable battery, meaning that you won't have to purchase and replace AA/AAA batteries every few months (and will also be able to save a few pounds in the long run). Also, you can set an automatic shutdown, conserving the battery so that you can use this thing without recharging it on a weekly basis. To add more, the LCD screen that this device adopts features light blue backlighting, making the test results legible even with insufficient ambient lighting.

Last but not least, the model comes outfitted with an integrated emergency hammer. Using this hammer, you can break a window and exit the vehicle in case of emergency. Considering that the breathalyser also arrives with 16 BPA-free mouth tips and a USB charging cable, the Drivaid Altester-FYX offers more bang for your pound than 9/10 alcohol testers you will come across.

Drivaid Altester-FYX Breathalyzer in the use
Last updated price $0.00
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B083QHT4Q6

 

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 breathalyzer 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 to Beat a Breathalyzer, wikiHow.

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