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EBT Breathalyzer: Definition, Accuracy, and Usage Guidelines

13 September, 2023

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People can typically find evidential breath testing or EBT breathalyzers inside police stations. It is a device that determines the amount of alcohol in the human body through testing the breath. It can produce results that are admissible in court. Hence, accuracy is given for this version of testers. Only qualified authorities in the police department or collectors in the workplace can administer a test using the device as more technicalities are surrounding it.

Intoxicated drivers can cause accidents on the road. There can be fatal crashes because of them. Hence, law enforcement conducts random roadside breath tests. Officers use regular breathalyzers for the tests. If they confirm that someone has been driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, they can arrest the person and then use EBT for confirmation. To learn more about it, the article will present its definition, accuracy, and usage guidelines.

Definition of EBT Breathalyzer

An EBT breathalyzer is an instrument that measures blood alcohol concentration (BAC). It analyses the deep lung air, making it more accurate and usable in court. The device must pass the high standards of the Department of Transport to use it for confirmation tests. There are portable and non-portable model units.

Generally, an EBT device is larger than regular and personal breathalyzers. This is because there are more components to the breath tester. Hence, it is more reliable and used for serious cases. For instance, officers use it to test those who are part of a road accident. They can use the results as evidence in a court of law.

Moreover, it is suitable for workplaces. Companies commonly require their future and current employees to undergo an alcohol test. It is because they want to maintain peace and harmony in their work environment. Furthermore, accidents in the workplace can prompt management to confirm if the employees involved are drunk. If they are, they can take appropriate measures.

Features

An EBT device must be able to provide certain features to pass the standards. They are the following:

  • Operate in either a fuel or infrared cell.
  • Produce three copies of each breath test result.
  • Designate a number exclusive to every completed test.
  • Provide the details of the device, such as its name and serial number. There should also be a date indicated as to when the test was taken.
  • Tell the difference between alcohol and acetone.
  • Test for a blank check. It is to ensure there is no alcohol present in the device before subject testing.
  • Carry out external calibrations.

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Accuracy of EBT Breathalyzer

Accuracy is vital to any type of breath testers. It is even more so for tests that are accepted in court. Authorities can require people to undergo a test to confirm their BAC. An EBT breathalyzer is one of them. Thus, it is certain that a unit is accurate and reliable.

The reason why the devices are accurate is because of their strict calibration. In particular, the DOT refers to the process as an external calibration check. It ensures that the device is functioning properly. The reading must be within acceptable tolerance. Otherwise, there is something wrong with it, and it should be repaired before using it again.

Another factor affecting the performance of an evidential breath testing device is its sensors. Both fuel cells and Infrared (IR) cells are known for their accurate readings. They are highly sensitive to ethanol. Hence, they are less likely to produce inaccurate results. IR is more accepted in detecting illegal alcohol levels since it has more law cases.

Advantages

The clear advantage of using an evidential breath testing device is that it provides accurate results. Companies can acquire one for their organisations. They do not need to worry about having false positive outcomes. As a result, they can have a better work environment, as alcoholic employees can cause several problems.

Once they find out which employees have alcohol problems, they can have a clearer strategy. It is cost-effective as well because one of the reasons why there are employee turnovers is because of workers with drinking problems. Management can hire those who do not have such troubles for fewer inconveniences.

A woman blowing into a breathalyser

Usage Guidelines of EBT Breathalyzer

EBT breathalyzers are commonly used by authorities like the police and certified technicians or collectors in workplaces. Offenders who tested positive for DUI need to do an evidential breath test. What happens first is officers ask routine questions. They ask whether they consumed alcohol or products with alcohol in the past 20 minutes.

As with any breath tester, the device should warm up. Once ready, they can blow through the mouthpiece. They must provide two breath specimens. Authorities use the one with a lower reading and discard the other sample. They use it as prosecution evidence. However, the result should be above the legal limit for them to use it legally.

Since companies also use it for their employees, management should establish clear guidelines and policies that comply with laws and regulations. The process of taking samples is the same. They can operate the device for pre-employment purposes, random tests, post-accident testing, and if there is reasonable suspicion for an employee.

Are There Disadvantages?

One disadvantage of the device is that it is costly. A single unit can range from $1000-$3000. Thus, it is more suitable for law enforcement and organisations. Moreover, the devices typically have more parts. Hence, they can be quite bulky. It may not be appropriate for everyday and personal use.

Meanwhile, those who want to have an accurate yet compact breath tester can opt for more portable devices like the BACtrack from Breathalyser New Zealand. They have devices similar for personal and workplace use. Furthermore, some devices are compatible with Bluetooth, making it easier for them to view their results.

Conclusion

Conducting a breath test is one of the easier ways police officers can do random tests. Confirming the positive results of their tests requires a more in-depth method. It comes in the form of an EBT breathalyzer. The device can accurately measure the BAC of offenders. Its results can serve as evidence in court because of its performance. Authorities will ask routine questions before taking two sets of evidential samples.

An alternative to the EBT device is a personal breathalyzer. More specifically, people can buy from trusted brands like BACtrack from Breathalysers New Zealand. Individuals can choose devices that are adept for personal or workplace use. They also offer regular recalibration services for the units that may require it. It is important to recalibrate a breath tester to ensure its accuracy. Hence, users can efficiently use their units for a long time.

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