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When buying a breathalyzer, it is important to consider the following factors:
1. Sensor accuracy.
Consider whether the alcohol tester has good sensor accuracy in a controlled environment. For personal use, semiconductor breathalyzers are cheaper but will not be as accurate as fuel cell breathalyzers. For professional / workplace use, fuel cell breathalyzers are recommended as they are more accurate, stable, and ideal for high-volume testing.
2. Flow Sensor to capture deep lung air sample and monitor pressure.
Good quality breathalyzers contain a flow sensor that requires you to blow into the device for a minimum amount of time. This assures that you expel enough air out of your lungs to get a 'deep-lung' sample where the most accurate reading can be obtained.
3. Mouthpieces for a more accurate reading.
Mouthpieces help to minimise the impact of external air, therefore providing a more accurate reading. Passive mode breathalyzers (this mode does not require mouthpieces) may be more convenient for testing between a few individuals but will affect the accuracy of the readings.
4. Test and certification by a recognised organisation
For example: SAI Global (Australian Standard), DOT (Department of Transportation), or NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
Many workplaces require the use of breathalyzers that are Australian Standard AS3547 Certified, a standard that assures the accuracy, reliability, and performance of the breathalysers. For personal use, this certification may not be as important.
5. Breathalyzer calibration.
Breathalyzers need to be calibrated regularly (usually every 6 or 12 months) to maintain its accuracy. Fuel cell breathalyzers generally require calibration less often than semiconductor breathalysers. Take this into consideration when choosing a breathalyzer for yourself, as sending a breathalyzer back for calibration would mean potentially having to go a few weeks without a breathalyser.
If you have any questions or would like assistance with buying a breathalyzer, just talk to us! Our friendly team will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and advise you on the best breathalyzer to suit your needs.