Breathalysers are used by law enforcement, employers and other authoritative bodies to monitor the blood alcohol content or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of individuals to ensure safety wherever the subjects may be. Recently, the use of personal breathalysers has increased as more Australians are becoming aware of the dangers of drink driving.
Breathalysers help you accurately estimate your BAC levels for monitoring purposes and to help you make informed decisions when it comes to driving, work and other activities that involve coordination and rational decision making.
Here, we’ll discuss why personal breathalysers have become increasingly popular in Australia.
The growing concern of drink driving in Australia
In 2019, it was reported that over one-third of Australians indulge in drinking weekly and with alcohol being the most widely consumed social drug in Australia, it’s no secret that alcohol is a part of Australian culture, especially in regard to social activities.
Despite this, Australia has made strides in reducing the number of fatalities and accidents on the road as a result of drink driving, although it still remains to be a significant problem. In fact, the Transport Accident Commission reported that around 2.7 million people would drive after having up to drinks, and about 175,000 people have admitted to driving despite recording a BAC of .05%
READ MORE: How many standard drinks to reach .05?
With these statistics in mind, one way to combat and reduce these numbers is through the use of breathalysers. By using a personal breathalyser, drivers and accurately estimate their impairment level and make informed decisions in regards to their impairment level.
Alcohol interlocks are effective at reducing the number of repeat drink driving offenders as the engine of the vehicle in question will not start unless the driver records a zero BAC level (or within the legal limits).
READ MORE: The true cost of an interlock breathalyser
The need for personal breathalysers
As alcohol is consumed, it is absorbed into the bloodstream, and as the blood circulates through your body, some of the alcohol molecules are exchanged in your lungs through the alveoli. When you exhale, the alcohol molecules in your breath are carried out with the air.
A breathalyser detects the amount of alcohol in your breath by measuring the concentration of alcohol molecules present in a breath sample.
By using a personal breathalyser, drivers can make informed decisions about whether or not they can drive or operate heavy machinery. This could save lives and reduce the number of drink driving incidents. Additionally, breathalysers can help also help those struggling with drinking problems or alcoholism by helping to monitor their daily alcohol intake and controlling their drinking once a threshold has been reached.
Many pubs and bars have also installed wall-mounted breathalysers on their premises to deter the occurrences of drink driving cases. Having a personal breathalyser on hand can also help individuals share their unit with their mates that don’t have one, making them the responsible friend. Overall, personal breathalysers have the potential to make a significant impact on drink driving issues in Australia.
How to choose the right breathalyser?
Choosing the right breathalyser for you depends on a host of different variables. Still, the most important trait of a breathalyser is to ensure that they are accurate and reliable at all times, as false readings can open up a world of negative possibilities that could have detrimental legal consequences or worse.
Below are some factors to consider when buying a personal breathalyser.
Accuracy and reliability
As mentioned, this is perhaps the most important part of any breathalyser. This ensures that there is no second-guessing your BAC and impairment level and that the readings provided by your unit can help you make the right decision. Andatech industrial breathalysers and AlcoSense personal breathalysers have been Australian Standard AS 3547 certified for accuracy and reliability, ensuring that when calibrated, results displayed are an accurate estimation of the user’s BAC reading.
The two main types of sensors in the Australian market are semiconductors and fuel cell units. Due to the technology used, the latter is usually more expensive but yields more accurate results and is perfect for use at the workplace or for those that drink more often than others. However, casual drinkers may find that semiconductor units suffice if they only use the unit seldomly.
Frequency of use
A person that indulges in drinking more often than others may find that they would need a more advanced breathalyser to get results faster. However, if a user only drinks occasionally, investing in a more affordable unit may be enough to meet the requirements of the user. Those using the breathalyser to record data for beating alcoholism may opt for a unit that has mobile pairing for easier storage of results.
Like all measurement tools, personal breathalysers need to be calibrated periodically to ensure accurate readings. When shopping for a personal breathalyser, look for a unit that has a calibration reminder. Andatech offers hassle-free breathalyser calibration services via the calibration plans where users will be reminded of calibration dates, receive shipping labels, additional mouthpieces, fresh batteries and even save costs per calibration.
Some breathalysers like the AlcoSense Nexus and Elite 3 BT are equipped with a mobile app for easy result recording and fast turnaround times of 5 seconds (Nexus). These units also have a photo verification system and a sharing system to ensure test was taken by the intended user at the intended location. The AlcoSense Nexus also comes with an internal memory of 100 tests.
With over one-third of Australians drinking on a weekly basis and alcohol being the most widely consumed social drug in Australia, breathalysers are a practical solution to reduce drink driving incidents. Personal breathalysers help drivers make informed decisions that could potentially save lives.
For more information on alcohol and drug testing in Australia, check out the following resources:
- How many standard drinks to .05?
- When can you drive after drinking?
- Drug detection windows
- Drink driving penalties in Australia
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your business’s needs.
Written by Wafi Rashid