Home breathalyzer tester – Why would you want one?

Now I am not judging here but I did think this when the question of why would you want a home breathalyzer tester came up on my blog!

I had no idea I thought but then I went into thinking mode and actually I can think of at least three or four reasons why you would want one.

But the question in my head was why would you?

So what are they and where do you get them from?

Go online and you can see the whole range from simple testing strips to the very latest technology. Remember though the breathalyzer strategy in the UK took a long while to develop and it was so long ago you were still asked to walk in a straight line and pubs were open at 5am for the steel workers.

I kid you not!

I write about the UK drink-driving laws here and it’s so complicated you are left wondering how on earth you would get accurate testing from a home based one.

However, the price range of these units range from very low to very high and of course without exception they all have the law of accuracy with a plus or minus average so you are always really left wondering.

Of course, they would argue differently.

There is everything from breath testers on strips to full scale testers with so called latest technology. However, would you really take the chance?

The Alcosense as a brand comes up a lot with prices ranging from very little under £50 to nearly £250. They certainly provide a lot of evidence and are very impressive.

I can’t really work out the difference as they are all designed to give an accurate or near accurate test. Clearly its never going to beat basic common sense.


Why do you need one in France

Well basically it’s the law and you are required to have them if you are driving. I am not sure if this would make you drink less the night before or not but it’s an interesting concept

If you have one even if they are only part accurate it means there is nowhere to hide. This may be the case in many countries so always check. ( Amazon Associate Affiliate Link below)

How accurate are cheap breathalyzers?

From my research I soon realized that home breathalyzers are not regulated in the UK but there is some kind of European standard which is not law. Go figure that one .

These items are designed with what they call full cells which measure our breath and alcohol content during a test but the compliance rules are really loose as far as I can tell.

So if you determined to be drinking then driving even the night before, spend this kind of money to guarantee a result and you could be taking your life in your hands despite the very good assurances from the manufacturers.

I am not knocking them as they have really done their homework as best they can.

It seems the standard really varies to say the least and of course everyone is different.
Fuel cells which form the basis of them vary in size and quality.


The other issue which I think is a fair one is that the breathalyzer has to convert the breath reading to a blood reading, and different countries calculate the conversion differently, so depending on where a unit is made and where it is designed to be used, the numbers might not line up.

It makes the market a potential minefield but choose a reputable unit from a recognized manufacturer and you should be able to rely on it.

Just remember that the components in these are expensive and you get what you pay for, so don’t expect a £5 unit to perform nearly as well as something worth hundred pounds unless you know different.

Can you fail a breathalyzer 12 hours after drinking?

How long after drinking alcohol can you still detect alcohol in the blood. Here I have a big question.

It depends on how much the person had to drink, and how long ago they drank and what they eat and even their body size. This effect is known as a BAC which is Blood Alcohol Level and experts say its taken out of your body at around .015% BAC per hour.

To make it easy for us let say it’s one straight normal measure of alcohol per hour. Now let’s not confuse it with large glasses of wine but the straight single measure so one drink and one hour to get rid.

If a person had only one drink you would be at around .02%. BAC. So after about an hour your alcohol level would be about zero.

Now here is the thing it can change depending on the amount you have eaten and body size. The only thing that is constant is your liver which excretes your alcohol at 1 unit per hour regardless of food, body size so again there are lots of different factors in the mix.

The Liver cannot and will not be rushed.

Let’s take another scenario.

So let’s do the maths and say you had a reading of around .20%, not a good reading by any measure. That would take at least 13 hours, maybe more for the alcohol in your blood to reach zero. Remember some countries have limited much less than this so again even drinking small amounts could catch you out.

Let’s stay, you bought a breath tester and used it before going to work. In the previous 13 hours there would be alcohol in the system. Again in theory after 13 hours according to the testing experts when the alcohol would have gone from the blood you would be at zero so a negative result of .000.

Of course, we know that everyone is different but it does seem to give a fair and accurate indication but of course when you add humans, the test can always come out differently as the experts acknowledge.

Human can be different on every level.

So it seems breath testers can give an indication but only an indication although to be fair there is always going to be an issue with the test.

As part of my liver disease health care I have to give blood on a regular basis to make sure my liver is functioning. One of the tests showed a low cortisal level which can be an indication of a bigger issue.

So I spent the morning in the hospital under observation for tests. Guess it was a random test with a random result. I was fine.

Of course, I was glad they measured it but it does show you that random tests can occur. It’s part of science.

How can I lower my BAC fast?

I can’t believe that there are websites that advocate these along with ads for breathalyzers. I will be really clear you cannot quickly get rid of the alcohol in your body. The liver in particular likes to take his time. Think 1 unit 1 hour.

Now your BAC changes depending on what you have eaten and body size but the amount of alcohol in your system as they say stays is in the system !

Now as a coach not an actual expert on breathalyzers, some of the questions around senior executives wanting to cut back on the drink are completely bizarre including can I just eat lots of peanut butter. No are you kidding, that won’t actually work and do you even like it?

Not a fan personally.

  • So do a search and some of the ideas that could help you beat the police breathalyzer include
  • Breathing deeply as this evaporates the alcohol
  • Vomit so you get all the alcohol out of your system
  • Eat and that will cover up any alcohol
  • Speed up your metabolism with lots of coffee!
  • Take a very cold shower or chuck an ice bucket over your head
  • Drinking tons of water.

Drinking coffee is always a big one. Yes it makes you feel alert but does nothing to speed up how quickly the alcohol goes from your body. In fact, it could actually make you even more anxious.

Drink lots of water and yes it’s true alcohol can really dehydrate you but it can help ease the effect of a hangover but it won’t change the level of alcohol in your blood or your body. Your liver needs time.Water won’t sober you up, sorry.

Get lots of fresh air. It can make us feel more awake but it won’t have any impact on the alcohol.

I even came across some site suggesting lots of multivitamins or tablets to speed up your metabolism. These tablets will probably be illegal to buy with that kind of claim.

Trust me !

Why not drink less and not drink at all if you are driving.

All of this breathing has value I am sure but our body is our body and it is going to be some miracle that makes it get rid of alcohol. It’s physically impossible.

This alcohol testing kit is probably very good at what is does and the technology is pretty impressive but of course none of us have had training to use them and as they say there is always room for human error.

Clearly I was not a fan of these either when I drank or now as we are talking about taking your life and the lives of others in your hands. Take a taxi, get a bus or maybe even report in sick and work from home.

Probably any of these options may be better if you know you have had skinful of alcohol the night before.

I have added an affiliate link for you to do your own research as it’s important you do it. The manufacturers put up a compelling case but unless you need it legally as you do in some countries maybe not drinking is probably the best option or have a few so you know you will be fine in the morning and not still be drinking at 1am in the morning.

The range goes from simple to advanced and I would definitely read the reviews below ( affiliate link). This one is up to police standard and gets good reviews

I would love to know what you think about a home breathalyzer tester and would you invest in one. Is it a crutch for our drinking patterns or could we just not drink if we know we are going to be in a car the next day?

Maybe I am in the minority but I think that is probably the best route but I would love to know if you think that is the case. Please leave your thoughts and I will get back to you. It’s all part of creating a great community here.

For more information and fact about alcohol visit drinkaware

4 thoughts on “Home breathalyzer tester why would you?”

  1. I had no idea that in France you are required to have a breathalizer when driving, so your link to the AlcoSense French NF product is very useful in this case especially. Also I didn’t know that BAC is taken out of the body at around .015% per hour, also good to know. Like you’ve pointed out so well here, it’s best not to drink and drive at all, though having one of these breathalizers can be critical in certain situations. Another product I found interesting is the AlcoSAFE CA10FS Pro. I think it’s a sound investment, so I’ll save your post for when it’s soon time to order. Thanks!

    • Hey thanks for the insight that is really interesting. I know researching the subject many countries have very different rules so it makes it really confusing. I really appreciate you stopping by and a great value comment to share with others! All the very best, Phil

  2. Very interesting! I think you should have one. It’s a good indicator to know how much you’ve had to drink or if you need to fnd another ride home. There were some bars in Germany that had a breathalyzer on the wall and that would make you take it before you left, just in case

    • Hi there thanks so much for stopping by. I had never heard that story of having a breathalyzer on the wall of a bar. In my head you think you would know if you had had a few drinks but I guess it serves a purpose. The drink drive laws are so strict in the UK most people would not take a chance on just one drink. ( Generally). Its very often the morning after that becomes the issue. I have certainly learned something so I really appreciate your comment. All the best, Phil


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