Why cheap breathalyzers are bad?

There is nothing wrong with imbibing in alcoholic beverages if you do so responsibly and with moderation. Personal breathalyzers are a tool for those of us who wish to enjoy their alcohol as well as keep a check on how inebriated they are. Breathalyzers are also great for those of us who want to reduce our chances of over consumption, risky alcohol fueled behavior and its legal consequences.

How does a breathalyzer work?

How a breathalyzer works is that when a person blows into its mouthpiece, the breathalyzer then displays the person’s blood alcohol concentration on its display by measuring the amount of alcohol on the person’s breath. A person who uses a breathalyzer can use it to determine whether it would be healthy for him or her to continue consuming alcohol or if he or she can legally drive a car with their current blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

Some other uses of breathalyzers can include:

  • Using it as a tool in drinking games to measure how drunk all your friends are
  • Verifying whether employees are drinking on the job
  • Testing underage teenagers when they get home late at night

How good are personal breathalyzers?

How good a breathalyzer is depends on its ability to display blood alcohol level accurately. If it displays a lower than accurate BAC, then users risk getting behind the wheel after drinking with a BAC that is over the limit, which can potentially result in a DUI and all the social, financial and legal problems that come with it.

On the other hand if the breathalyzer displays a higher than accurate BAC, then that can lead to other problems. An employer testing to see if his employees are drinking on the job may be led to believe an innocent employee to be an unreliable alcoholic, leading to other problems and complications.

If digital breathalyzers weren’t accurate, the police wouldn’t use them. But that doesn’t make all breathalyzers equally reliable. A cheap keychain breathalyzer won’t provide results as accurate as a police officer’s breathalyzers with fuel cell sensor breath tests which are used in DUI prosecutions across the United States.

The Types of Breathalyzers

  • Semiconductor Sensors – These are the most commonly used breathalyzers you find for personal and home use. These testers are both the cheapest and the least accurate. They have a high chance of false positive results and can react to things like hairspray and cigarette smoke.
  • Fuel Cell Sensors – These are professional grade breathalyzers with extremely accurate results. Although most of the breathalyzers you will find on the consumer market will be based on the semiconductor design, there are some breathalyzers with fuel cell sensor design available for the general public to purchase. These breathalyzers are also much more expensive than semiconductor sensor breathalyzers.

Which breathalyzer to buy?

If you plan on buying a breathalyzer and trusting what it says, spend a little extra money and get a breathalyzer with an authentic fuel cell sensor design and a high accuracy rating. The other options may be cheaper, but they are inherently useless and unreliable.

Author Bio:

Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Cobb provides personalized representation for criminal defense cases in FL.

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