How to perform a personal breathalyser test

by Vivien Mah    

How to perform a personal breathalyser test

How does a breathalyser work? When alcohol is ingested, it moves towards your stomach and your small intestine. It is then absorbed into your blood stream, which is then circulated to both your lungs and your brain, which is why you are able to exhale it when you breathe.

A breath alcohol test conducted by means of a breathalyser will measure what your BAC (Breath Alcohol Content) is in the air that you exhale. The device uses that measurement to estimate how much alcohol is in your blood.

Your BAC will start to increase at 15 minutes after alcohol is ingested, and will most likely be at it's peak 1 hour after ingestion- please note that alcohol will stay in your blood stream up to 24 hours (80 hours within urine, and around 3 months for hair follicles). Be wary after a heavy night of drinking-even when you drive to work the next morning, alcohol will still be in your blood stream.


Make Sure that Your Device is Fitted with a Mouthpiece, and Ensure that there are Batteries Inside

Our Andatech Personal Breathalyser range offers many breathalysers in many different varieties. Do ensure that the correct mouth piece has been fitted into your device. Please note that Andatech mouthpieces are reusable, but should be thrown away in the event of a high reading (e.g. blowing into the breathalyser while extremely intoxicated may lead to remnants of alcohol staying within the mouth piece). Also note that mouthpieces will need to be changed when frequently used (buildup of saliva may occur if you test frequently). It is recommended that you wash and dry your mouthpiece after every positive test.

Even if your device is not an Andatech device, do make sure that the mouth piece is the correct fit, and in usable condition.

In regards to batteries, only use new Alkaline batteries, as rechargeable and heavy duty batteries may not work well with the system.


Blow into Your Device Until You Hear the Double Beep or Click

One common issue when blowing into a breathalyser is the fLo error message appearing. It is imperative that you blow into the device with a long and steady breath.

Do not stop blowing until you hear either a double beep, or a double click sound (depending on your device). Failing to provide an long and steady blow will cause the device to have a fLo error, and may potentially fail to provide your BAC reading.


Do Not Perform Back to Back Tests

Another mistake people make when testing their BAC is back to back testing on a singular device. It is recommended that you should wait for at least 10-30 seconds before you perform a second test. Just as any other machinery, a breathalyser will need to readjust itself to prepare for a second test. If you would like a breathalyser that is able to perform rapid back to back testing, check out our Workplace Breathalysers- specially designed for this purpose, and to give police grade ratings with rugged durability.

If you would like a personal breathalyser that utlises a fuel cell sensor, and allows a quicker refresh time for back to back testing, check out our AlcoSense Zenith+; a perfect model for small businesses, and for those who need to test multiple people as quickly as possible.


Calibrate Your Device

You should always calibrate your device at least once a year. Our recommended calibration time is every 6 months or 200 tests for optimal performance of your device. A failure in calibrating your device will potentially result in inaccurate readings, or even worse: possible damage to your sensor.

Our advice? Calibrate it as much as possible. Even if you do not frequently use your device, normal wear and tear may take effect- much like a vehicle and how it requires a servicing every so often. Sure, it may work, but how well will it work, especially when you need it the most? For more information about calibrations, check out our Calibration Management Plans or this helpful Calibration FAQs Guide.

Click here to access our online user manuals for further information about your device, or look below to browse our various personal breathalyzers:

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your needs.