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FST Breathalyzer Product Review

07 March, 2024

A police officer showing the results of a breathalyser

Drink driving is a significant cause of many road accidents. Hence, it is a major offence that has several penalties. To detect intoxicated drivers, police officers typically use breath-testing devices like the Alco-Sensor FST breathalyzer. It is a highly accurate device that uses fuel cell sensors to analyse the samples. It also has disposable mouthpieces for hygiene purposes and a back-facing display so operators can easily view the prompts on the screen.

The testing devices of police officers must be accurate and reliable to prevent undue consequences from false positive results. They should also have several features that make testing easy in various situations. The FST breath tester is one device that fulfils these requirements. Nevertheless, other products also suit workplace testing needs. This article will present an overview of the FST breath alcohol tester, its core features, and device alternatives.

Overview of the FST Breathalyzer

The Alco-Sensor FST breathalyzer is a portable handheld device that people use for measuring the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels of individuals. It is a highly accurate device that enables quick breath alcohol testing to verify if an individual is breaking a law or policy by exceeding the designated limits. It is a trusted device by many organisations.

To conduct direct breath sample testing, the user must first place a clean Alco-Sensor mouthpiece on the device. Then, they must hold the on button until it fully activates. When the device displays the text ‘BLO’ on the screen, the user must start blowing into the mouthpiece until the operator signals them to stop. It has automatic breath sampling capabilities, which makes it easy to use for professional settings. Then, it will display the results.

Besides law enforcement use, the FST alcohol breath tester can also provide accurate information for workplace use. Its simple operating procedure can help employers implement their alcohol testing policy. It can help ensure workplace safety by deterring alcohol misuse and reducing the risks of accidents.

Functionality of the Breathalyzer

  • The primary screening application of the FST device is for law enforcement officers to use in random roadside breath testing.
  • It helps identify individuals who are driving under the influence of alcohol by measuring their BAC level.
  • The passive test mode is ideal for testing multiple people without changing mouthpieces.
  • Moreover, police officers can easily use this with one hand and keep the other hand free for emergencies.
  • It is easy to operate with just one push of a button.
  • It also guides the entire test using a sequence to decrease cases of operating error.

A woman using a breathalyser

Core Features of the Alco-Sensor FST Breathalyzer

The Alco-sensor FST breathalyzer has several core features, making it a popular alcohol breath tester. Firstly, it uses an electrochemical fuel cell sensor. It is a sensor people use for its evidential grade accuracy because it only reacts to the ethanol in the breath sample, reducing the likelihood of false positives. This reaction causes electrical currents to form, corresponding to how much ethanol is in the specimen.

Secondly, it has disposable mouthpieces that enable users to test multiple people in a short amount of time while still maintaining hygiene. The device also has a lever-and-click system, making mouthpiece insertion easy. This system also helps ensure that mouthpieces are properly aligned for breath flow.

Thirdly, the device derives its power from batteries. Some sellers provide options for items that run on two 1.5V AA alkaline batteries or rechargeable ones. However, the battery charger is a separate item to purchase. Fourthly, the device allows for either direct or passive testing procedures. Lastly, it has a drink sniffer attachment that can analyse if a drink is alcoholic.

Specifications and User Interface

For the specification of the FST, its dimensions are 12 x 6.9 x 4.4 cm. Meanwhile, its weight with batteries totals 213g. The typical measurement range of the testing device is 0.000 to 0.440g/210L. However, some customers may opt for custom ranges.

The user interface of the FST enables simple operation for direct sample breath testing. It has a backlit LCD screen with corresponding audio output. This component supports the visual cues. It also has an optional multi-colour backlit display messaging. Moreover, it has a rear-facing design so operators can easily view the prompts during testing.

A BACtrack breathalyser next to an alcoholic beverage

FST Breathalyzer Alternatives

Although the FST breathalyzer is well-known for evidential accuracy, there are also other breathalyzers that people and organisations can use as an alternative to this device. Here at Breathalyzers New Zealand, several workplace breathalyzers also have fuel cell sensors similar to the ones for a breathalyzer in law enforcement.

Some options are the BACtrack S80 Pro Gen1, S80 Pro Gen2, and Mobile Pro Gen2. These are also popular breathalyzers with easy-to-follow instructions made with safety in mind. Moreover, these devices also allow quick screening by producing results within minutes of starting the electronic breathalyzer.

For workplace testing, there is also the SHIELD Express Identity and Express Touch, which also have rear-facing displays and passive and active testing modes. In particular, Express Identity offers photo identification during testing. Lastly, those looking for personal breathalyzers may consider the BACtrack Trace Pro Gen1, Trace Pro Gen2, and Scout devices. Some may also check the highly portable devices, like the BACtrack C8 Smartphone, C6 Smartphone, and Go Keychain.

A Closer Look at BACtrack S80 Pro Gen1

The BACtrack S80 Pro Gen1 is a highly popular breath tester because of its affordable price and accurate results. Its dimensions are 12.2 x 5.8 x 2.2 cm. Moreover, it weighs 136 g after installing the mouthpiece and the batteries. It also has the necessary regulatory approvals for a handheld breath alcohol analyser.

Its battery life is a primary feature since it can facilitate about 1500 tests with one set of AA batteries. It also has helpful features, like optimal breath capture and one-touch operation, making testing easy. Lastly, it is a linear device that accurately measures a breath alcohol concentration of up to 0.400%.

Conclusion

The Alco-Sensor FST breathalyzer is ideal for police applications due to its highly accurate results. It is a fuel cell breathalyzer. The device can accurately measure the BAC from the provided breath samples. Moreover, it has several features that make roadside testing more convenient. These include the disposable mouthpieces, battery-operation, and back-facing display. Furthermore, it has a backlit LCD screen so the operator can easily follow the testing sequence and reduce the chances of errors.

Nevertheless, organisations and individuals may consider alternative devices that suit their needs more. Breathalysers New Zealand offers several products that also have fuel cell sensors for precise and reliable BAC measurements. One example is the S80 Pro Gen1, which is FDA-approved, DOT-compliant, and meets several other requirements for a breath screening machine. It also has a long battery life, capable of powering about 1500 tests with a set of batteries.

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      A police officer showing the results of a breathalyser

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