Best Alcohol Tester in Comparison.
Alcohol Tester Reviews & Buyer Guide.
Only had one beer, so it’s okay to drive? An extremely dangerous approach, because when in doubt, it’s always better to leave the car at a standstill. But when can you drive again in the morning after a long evening, when is the alcohol sufficiently degraded?
For this purpose, an alcohol tester can be very helpful to have certainty in case of doubt that we should rather wait a little longer. The most important thing when buying is a small deviation – we recommend a maximum tolerance range of 0.05 per mille. See our product table to see which devices can also detect substances such as acetone (interesting for diabetics) or carbon monoxide (interesting for smokers)!
Breathalyzer Buying Guide:
How to choose the right product from the above breathalyzer test or comparison
- When buying an alcohol tester, make sure that it has either an electrochemical sensor or a semiconductor sensor built in. This method can also be used to detect other substances such as carbon monoxide (for smokers) or acetone (for diabetics).
- The best breathalyzers on the market have a low deviation of the measured value. Alcohol testers, such as those used in police operations, have a minimum difference of ± 0.05 ‰.
The lower the number of batteries required, the more environmentally friendly and cost-saving a breathalyzer is.
- Under the reign of President Nicolas Sarkozy in France, compulsory breathalyzers for cars were introduced in 2012. Today, it is recommended to take it with you (also for tourists), since drinking and driving with a blood alcohol level of up to 0.8 per mille results in a fine of 135 euros and with a blood alcohol level of over 0.8 per mille even 4,500 euros as well as a 2-year prison sentence.
Who hasn’t experienced this? After an intoxicating party, wedding or company celebration, you are faced with the difficult decision of whether you are still able to drive home by car or have had one or two too many glasses of alcohol and would be better off walking home. With a handy device from our breathalyzer comparison 2021, you can determine the alcohol content in your breath in a few seconds and conclude how much alcohol is in your blood that affects your perception. In the following, we inform you in our breathalyzer guide about the most important purchase criteria of such an item and give you important hints about when it is better to stop drinking or to leave the car.
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What is a breathalyzer and how does it work?
An alcohol tester (also known as an Alkomat or breathalyzer) is used to determine the alcohol content in the breath. You can use the device, for example, after drinking gin or champagne. If you have consumed alcoholic beverages or food containing alcohol, a gas exchange takes place in the alveoli between the breath and the alcohol, forming the substance ethanol. Because the ethanol is released together with the exhaled air, it is possible to measure it with the device and to draw conclusions about the blood alcohol concentration via the digital display. Especially at parties, company celebrations or weddings, the breathalyzer is sometimes used as a fun item.
So if you want to use a tester from our breathalyzer comparison, simply blow into the mouthpiece attached to the upper end. You can buy additional mouthpieces and replace them regularly. In this way, one device can also be used for several people. The LED display then shows the alcohol value, usually in per mille or percent. If the value is given in per mille, it is also often referred to as a promille tester.
Note: In France, breathalyzers were part of the basic legal equipment in cars in 2012. Drivers of motor vehicles were therefore required by law to have a breathalyzer, which meant that not only must a device be present in the car, but it must also be used when necessary. Today, this measure is recommended only to avoid accidents.
What types of breathalyzer are there?
In 1953, breathalyzers or alcohol calculators or even breathalyzer were used, whose bubble tube turned color when there was alcohol in the breath. A device like from the various breathalyzer tests is sometimes called Alcotest. Today, electronic measuring devices are predominantly used, which display the per mille value via an LCD display. In the following we present different measuring devices which are used to determine the alcohol content in the body.
In 1953, breathalyzers were still manufactured with blow tubes, and they are still successfully sold by this manufacturer today. Our breath contains ethanol after drinking alcohol. When this comes into contact with the tube of the breathalyzer and the chemicals contained in it, the blowtube discolors, allowing alcohol consumption to be detected. The tubes can only be used once, which makes this method rather unattractive in the category “follow-up costs”.
You may already be familiar with hand-held meters or breathalyzers from traffic controls by the police. An LCD display shows how much alcohol is still present in the blood or breath. Most of the breathalyzers in France (in France the breathalyzer was obligatory for the car) are sold as hand-held devices, because they can be easily stored in the glove compartment or are easy to transport. Handheld breathalyzers are also listed in the various breathalyzer tests. These devices are electronic items and were also compared by us in our breathalyzer comparison with each other for their suitability. The measured values are mostly extremely accurate – ideally, they have a maximum deviation of 0.5 ‰. Which
advantages and disadvantages of hand-held measuring devices are explained below in our clear table:
- very handy
- partly exact measured value
- also suitable as a fun factor for parties
- values not judicially approved
- Stationary measuring devices
The results from a stationary alcohol measuring device or alcohol calculator are considered conclusive in court in the event of an administrative offense. The measuring accuracy is very precise and the measuring range is very high. However, in the case of a criminal offense, the alcohol content must still be determined via a blood test. Stationary measuring devices measure the alcohol content in two ways: An electronic measurement, as with a handheld meter, and a physical measurement, as with the blow tube method.
Alcolock refers to an alcohol measuring device (or Alcotest) that is permanently installed in a motor vehicle. Since alcohol testers were required by law in motor vehicles in France in 2012, such alcolock testers were directly installed in some cars by manufacturers. Before the motor vehicle can be started, it is necessary to blow into the Alcolock. If the alcohol level is above the permitted value, an immobilizer activates. This is intended to prevent driving under the influence of alcohol.
Buying advice: What makes a good breathalyzer?
Before you buy a breathalyzer, you should know what to look for. The most important buying criteria include sensor type, operating mode, display, measuring range and accuracy. The criteria in detail:
The products in our overview of breathalyzer tests 2021 work with either an electrochemical sensor or a semiconductor sensor. We will now explain how these sensors work with the help of a clear table:
Sensor type Description
electrochemical sensor In this method, the substance to be analyzed (in this case oxygen) is oxidized electrochemically. The electrolytes inside the device analyze whether the substance ethanol is contained in the breathing air, which is blown into the inside of the device via the mouthpiece. This method can also be used to detect carbon monoxide, acetone and ammonia, among other substances.
Semiconductor sensor The semiconductor sensor absorbs oxygen molecules. If gases such as ethanol are contained in the absorbed oxygen, the conductivity is increased. Breathalyzers with semiconductor sensors also measure carbon monoxide in the breath, which is produced by smoking, as well as acetone, which occurs in people with diabetes.
Mode of operation and display
Breathalyzers from Dräger, Breathalyzer ACE as well as brands from manufacturers such as Vic Tsing, Conrad or Trendmedic are powered by batteries. To protect the environment, we recommend a product that requires a maximum of 3 batteries. This will also save you ongoing costs from buying batteries. The LED display of the technology devices from our breathalyzer comparison shine optionally in red, blue or black color.
Measuring range and accuracy
While small children die from an alcohol level of 0.5 per mille, adults can survive up to 5 per mille. If the alcohol test indicates a value of 0.2 per mille or more, however, you should leave your car, since a slight reduction in visual performance already sets in here and, above all, attention, concentration and the ability to react also diminish. The products from our alcohol tester comparison can partially test up to 5 per mille. However, most people are already unconscious or without reflexes at a blood alcohol level of 5 per mille and are not able to perform a test with themselves.
The best breathalyzer on the market must achieve a measurement accuracy of 0.05 per mille. Breathalyzers in France must be very accurate so that in the event of a possible traffic control, the values between the personal test and the police test are not too far apart. Such devices are also used by the police during a traffic control. Only the blood test has a higher measurement accuracy, where the value is accurate to 0.03 per mille. A breathalyzer app for Apple or Android phones, on the other hand, is very inaccurate and should only be used for fun after a party.
When buying the best alcohol tester, make sure that it comes with useful accessories such as mouthpieces for replacement. Most of the time, the alcohol tester is sold in a pouch that can also hold replacement mouthpieces. A carrying strap can also be useful, as it is often difficult to hold a device firmly in your hand when the alcohol level increases. In any case, this will prevent your breathalyzer from falling to the floor and breaking during an alcohol-filled party.
What are the best care tips for alcohol tester cleaning?
Most of the products in our alcohol tester comparison have a replaceable mouthpiece. After performing an alcohol test, you can simply dispose of this in your residual waste, and attach a new one to your device. We recommend this especially if the tester is used by several people. If only you use the product, you can also remove the same mouthpiece and wash it under warm running water. This allows you to use the mouthpiece up to 5 times before you should replace it with a new one. If the mouthpiece is firmly attached to the device, you should regularly wipe the mouthpiece with a damp cloth and also treat it with a disinfectant.
Questions and answers on the subject of breathalyzers
How accurate are police breathalyzers?
Police breathalyzers are very accurate and only measure with a small deviation of +/- 5 per mille. We have also listed products with a very precise accuracy in our breathalyzer comparison. However, a blood test must be taken for a judicial criminal proceeding. A doctor can measure the alcohol content in the blood with a minimum deviation of +/- 0.3 per mille.
How reliable are alcohol testers from the Internet?
When buying an alcohol tester from the Internet, always pay attention to whether the deviation of the measured value is low. If this criterion is given, the breathalyzer from the Internet is also reliable. However, alcohol testers cannot give a 100 percent statement about the alcohol content in your body. For an exact determination, you must have a blood test performed by a doctor.
How accurate are disposable alcohol testers?
Disposable breathalyzers are also relatively accurate and are mainly sold as breathalyzers for cars. They are mainly used by people who rarely drink alcohol and want to check if they are still able to drive home after a company party or wedding, for example. Disposable alcohol testers cost around 1 to 2 euros. They are therefore very inexpensive. However, if you want to use the breathalyzer more often, we advise you to buy a regular breathalyzer.
Where do I buy alcohol testers?
You can buy an alcohol tester in a pharmacy. However, pharmacies often only offer disposable alcohol testers. Even alcohol testers at Walmarkt are usually only disposable. You can order a long-term alcohol tester with replaceable mouthpieces via various online portals, which is advantageous over the cheap Alkomat from the pharmacy. The product is then even conveniently delivered to your doorstep. An alcohol tester app for Apple and Android cell phones is not recommended. The measured value is extremely inaccurate.
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