Buying a Breathalyzer
Buying a Breathalyzer?

When investing in a breathalyzer the purchaser must weigh up the economic, educational and emotional impacts that driving under the influence can cause. The use of a breathalyzer plays a key role in preventing you from driving impaired and potentially causing serious harm to yourself and to others.

Buying a breathalyser is an important investment.  Road safety laws are tightening all time.  Whether you are subject to 0.05 breath alcohol limit as a full licence holder driving a regular vehicle, or you are subject to 0.00 breath alcohol limit as a L-plater, P-plater,  driver of a heavy vehicle, or for workplace regulations, it is essential that the breathalyser you use delivers a reliable and accurate result every time.  Even an error of 0.01 breath alcohol could result in loss of licence, heavy fines, and other negative repercussions.

Why risk it?
After drinking, it can be difficult to judge your level of impairment or even your alcohol level.  The morning after drinking, you can still have detectable alcohol in your system.  One wrong decision can result in life altering circumstances:
  • Heavy fines and loss of licence
  • Debilitating injuries
  • Jail time
  • Loss of employment
  • Criminal record
  • Loss of life which affects family, friends and loved ones.

What type of breathalyzer should I choose?

Personal breath testers can be found online and in retail stores and vary widely in reliability, accuracy, and price.  Many breathalyzers advertised are not to be trusted and should not be considered by people wanting to purchase a unit they can rely on. Personal breathalyzers fall into two classes depending on the alcohol sensing technology employed:  Semi conductor and Fuel Cell.  Semi-conductor breath testers are the mass-produced, imported and typically sold based on price by mass-market internet, catalogue, and store retailers.  Semiconductor devices are inappropriate for those interested in an accurate breath alcohol reading.

Breathalyzer Fuel Cell Technology

Serious and responsible users should always choose fuel cell breath testing devices.   All evidential and commercial grade units contain a fuel cell which ensures accuracy when testing for alcohol in one’s breath (Breath Alcohol Content - BrAC).  Fuel cell technology is used by the police in law enforcement and is used for all interlock devices for offending drink drivers.

Features of Fuel Cell Breathalysers:

1. Alcohol specific:  Fuel cell measurements are always and only Alcohol specific.  Semiconductor devices can give positive alcohol readings even when no alcohol is present.

2. High accuracy:  Fuel cell is consistently accurate across a wide alcohol concentration range from .000 to .400 BrAC. Unlike semiconductor devices, the Fuel cell can report 3-digit BrAC measurement accuracy because of the precision of its Platinum Fuel Cell Technology. No personal breath tester is more accurate than the Fuel cell.

3. Calibration stability:  Unlike semiconductors which require frequent re-calibration, Fuel cell recommends re-calibration only once per year under normal use.

4. Long working life. Unlike Semiconductor devices that have a short life span, Fuel Cell breathalyzers have an expected working life of 3-5 years. Many professional fuel cell breathalyzers have been in the field and in continuous use by medical clinics and employers for over 8 years.

5. Proven. Fuel cell technology in alcohol testing has been continually refined and improved since its introduction in the 1970s. It is the technology used in portable breath testing by Law Enforcement globally in their stepped-up efforts to deter drink driving.

6. Reliable. The combination of long working life, calibration stability, alcohol specificity, and high precision all add up to a device, that when properly maintained, can be trusted to perform.

How to select an accurate and reliable Breathalyzer?

Before selecting a breathalyser, ask the question, has it been certified by Standards Australia?  Standards Australia recently published a new set of guidelines for Breathalysers for personal use: AS3547:2019.  These guidelines specify the minimum standards of performance for Alcohol breath testing devices.  When you want to invest in a Police Grade Breathalyser, always make sure it is certified to Australian Standard AS3547:2019.  This provides assurance that the device you are buying will perform to the necessary accuracy, reliability and precision needed to allow you to drive with confidence.

Why Drager?

Over many decades, Dräger has gained extensive experience and expertise in alcohol testing.  For the past 60 years, Drager has been a world leader in the field of alcohol screening with many hundreds of police forces across the world.

Our quality personal and professional Drager Alcotest Breathalysers are all certified by Australian Standards, which provides peace of mind for the user that the Drager Alcotest Breathalysers are of the highest quality, performance, and accuracy.  Breathalysers by Drager are designed to have a long service life and with regular calibration, will continue to perform with high accuracy and precision, providing the responsible driver with peace of mind for a long time.


Breath alcohol testingHeavy vehicle bac limit

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