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What alcohol detector / breathalyzer is used for?



What exactly does an alcohol detector / breathalyzer do?

An alcohol detector or breathalyzer is a device for estimating blood alcohol content from a breath sample. There are many models of consumer or personal breath alcohol testers on the market. These hand-held devices are generally less expensive than the devices used by law enforcement.

Why do I need an alcohol detector?

Alcohol detectors make the testing process easy and quick at schools, colleges, offices, and highways. Alcohol abuse can lead to mishaps and accidents at homes, industries and offices. Breathalyzers can help to maintain a safe and productive environment at workplaces. Breathalyzers are a non-invasive way of detection and even alcohol consumers can use personal breathalyzers to keep the alcohol intake in check. Alcohol detectors provide an easy, quick, inexpensive and reliable way for alcohol testing.

What is Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)?

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is used as a metric of alcohol intoxication for legal or medical purposes. Blood alcohol concentration is usually expressed as a percentage of alcohol in the blood. For instance, a BAC of 0.10 means that 0.10% of a person's blood is alcohol.

Is my Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) the only factor in determining whether I can get a drunken driving charge?

No. Most states generally look for factors that reflect your impairment. BAC is a guideline approach used by police departments; however, you can receive a drunk driving or reckless driving charge even if your BAC is below the legal limit if you are impaired.

Do alcohol detectors have to be calibrated?

Over time, all alcohol testers need to be recalibrated or have the sensor replaced. Calibration is a process where you program the internal software so that it can gauge specific BAC levels. If the sensor becomes saturated, then the results can become skewed. This is because the unit was originally calibrated when the sensor was unsaturated. This process is sort of like winding a clock.

When the clock is first set it displays accurate time. However, over time the clock gradually drifts a few minutes, and eventually can be off by quite a bit if you do not occasionally reset the clock. When selecting an alcohol tester, it is imperative to select a unit that is capable of being calibrated.

How should I clean my Alcohol detector?

To clean your alcohol detector, use a mild disinfectant cleaner and a soft cloth on the outside of the case. It is recommended to periodically clean the unit for optimum results. Do not use alcohol to clean the unit.

What is the difference between a screener, an evidential unit, and a workplace tester?

A screener is a unit that can screen individuals for the “presence” of alcohol. A screener is also commonly used for personal use. An evidential unit is a fuel cell sensor that is also used for screening purposes, but will generally be within +/- .005% BAC all the way up to .400%.

A workplace tester is a unit that is a fuel cell unit that can do an air blank, print, and do confirmation tests. A workplace unit is used for companies/people who do alcohol testing on people for Random, Pre-Employment, Reasonable Suspicion, Post-Accident, Return to Duty, and Follow Up.




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