Are Breathalyzers Accurate and Dependable?
17 January, 2022
Are breathalyzers accurate and dependable? After consuming alcohol, checking the blood alcohol content (BAC) is the first thing people do nowadays. The BAC level determines how much alcohol is in your blood. It directly relates to the intoxication and impairment of a person. Breathalyzers are portable devices that can estimate your BAC through breath samples. Moreover, breathalyzers like BACtrack personal devices may help you avoid drink driving penalties and road accidents with BAC monitoring.
Law enforcement use breathalyzers for roadside screenings. It is an indispensable tool that can estimate the BAC of suspected drivers from drink driving. The BAC results from police breathalyzers can be evidence to detain you if you are over the legal limit. In New Zealand, the legal limit of adults for alcohol is 0.05% BAC, or 0.05g of alcohol for every 100ml of blood. Moreover, you can face heavy criminal penalties if you exceed the allowed BAC levels. How are breathalyzers accurate in roadside testing? The breathalyzers that police use is the “gold standard” for breath testing devices. It is because they use fuel cell sensors to measure the BAC accurately. Fuel cell breathalyzers work by oxidising the ethanol in the breath to produce a chemical reaction. The reaction generates electrical currents that translate into the BAC.
Are Breathalyzers Accurate and Who Depends on Them?
Most BACtrack personal breathalyzers now fuel cell technology to provide precise alcohol breath test results. Fuel cell sensors are sensitive to ethanol and do not react with other substances. Endogenous substances such as acetone, carbon monoxide, or Toluene cannot influence the alcohol measurement. Therefore, fuel cell breathalyzers do not produce false-positive results. How are breathalyzers accurate in terms of their margin of error? All breathalyzers have an inherent margin of error. However, like police breathalyzers, most breathalyzers have a very minimal error margin. Furthermore, law officials and courts often rely on a police officer’s breathalyzer results to determine the penalties to be given to drivers. Additionally, for BACtrack personal breathalyzers, the fuel cell sensors read to one-thousandth of a decimal point, making it exceptionally accurate.
Are breathalyzers accurate after several applications? Various factors can affect the quality of the BAC tests over time. For example, breathalyzers may build up alcohol residue after several uses. If the BAC results start to fluctuate, it may be time for a recalibration. Furthermore, if your device gives unusually high or low results, you should immediately send the unit for recalibration. Moreover, to their customers, BACtrack offers complete recalibration services by trained professionals to ensure your device maintains its accuracy. You may need to recalibrate your device every 6 to 12 months, but that depends on its usage.