Safety Measure for Drinking with an Alcohol Breathalyzer
While serving or drinking alcoholic beverages is considered a fun way of livening up at any social gathering, it can also prove to be disastrous for anyone who has taken too much of the good, or sometimes bad, stuff. In fact, a lot of deaths have been caused by drunk driving. Aside from that, the age of people who are getting into this alcoholic hype is getting lower and lower. Young teenagers are being pressured into drinking alcohol by their peers. Not only is alcohol rampant in bars or parties, but it can also be present in the workplace or school.
In order to prevent fatal accidents or addictions due to alcohol, several models of ‘alcohol breathalyzer’ have been produced to provide a solution to this serious issue.
A breath alcohol test is simply done by exhaling into the plastic tube of the alcohol analyzer device. The device’s sensor indicates in a matter of seconds whether the person has exceeded the legal limit or not. The breath sample is used to calculate blood alcohol content (BAC). The reason why BAC can be easily detected from the person is because alcohol is not digested in the body after consumption. It only goes from the mouth, throat, stomach or intestine into the bloodstream. As blood passes in the lungs, the concentration of alcohol is then recognized from the person’s breath. The breathalyzer estimates the amount of alcohol consumed through the relative alcohol level in the person’s blood and breathing. This process is definitely quicker and easier than getting one’s urine or blood sample to be tested at a lab.
Police officers often do a field sobriety test or a preliminary breath test (PBT) on drivers who they suspect are driving under the influence (DUI). Those who have performed poorly in the test are sent to jail for a short period of time. They may also face other DUI-related penalties such as suspension of one’s driver’s license. In most states, the legal limit is 0.08. However, there may be times when someone can be arrested despite having a BAC of under 0.08. This happens if the police officer believes that the drunk driver may cause danger on the road.
There are 3 types of alcohol testing devices – hand-held breathalyzers, Alcosensor and Intoxilyzer. These devices apply the law of chemistry to determine BAC. The first type, which is not admissible in court, is mostly carried by police officers who are on the prowl for drunk drivers. It is only used for on-site preliminary alcohol screening. Alcosensor devices, which utilize fuel cell technology, are likewise not admissible in courts. On the other hand, Intoxilyzer devices are not used for on-site purposes, but the results are permissible in the court. This type makes use of infrared spectroscopy to identify the alcohol level.
A portable breathalyzer is available in the market today. Anyone can purchase his/her own hand-held breathalyzer or keychain breathalyzer. This can be very useful in places where people enjoy alcoholic drinks. It serves as a guide whether or not one is able to drive safely and consciously after consuming alcohol. This devise can be in the form of a digital alcohol tester or a color-coded alcohol tester. Personal alcohol testers usually employ a semi-conductor sensor, which can be inexpensive, but less efficient than an Alcosensor or Intoxilyzer. Plus, a portable breathalyzer needs regular calibration so that it can always function well. Otherwise, it can hamper the accuracy of the results. To avoid the time-consuming and costly routines of calibration, one can opt to purchase the best breathalyzer model that comes with replaceable sensor modules. This kind of device does not need constant calibration anymore.
Other than semiconductor devices, fuel cell breathalyzers can also be bought. This utilizes a sharper technology than its semiconductor counterpart. Thus, users of fuel cell breathalyzers can be assured of a more reliable reading, as well as less hassle of having to calibrate it.
In the USA, alcohol testing devices should be approved first by the FDA or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration before it can be sold to consumers or used by law enforcement personnel. It is best to always check if the particular device one plans to buy is indeed FDA-certified.
Since alcohol consumption can gravely affect one’s emotional, mental and physical state, having an alcohol breathalyzer is useful to prevent someone from going into the downward spiral of drunkenness. With this device, one can enjoy the experience of alcohol drinking while monitoring his/her alcohol level responsibly to avoid dire consequences. Researching about the different breathalyzer types, as well as the corresponding prices and degree of accuracy, is crucial to determine which model is best for one’s needs. Proper use and maintenance of the devise should also be observed to benefit from a reliable delivery of BAC results.