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Everything You Need to Know About Portable Breathalyzers

Everything You Need to Know About Portable Breathalyzers

Portable breathalyzers are small devices that can be carried in a pocket, bag, or on a keychain and used to test breath alcohol concentration (BrAC). These devices are often used to prevent drunk driving. 

At Intoxalock, we provide a type of portable breathalyzer for vehicles called an ignition interlock device, or IID. IIDs also test for BrAC, and are installed directly into a user’s car. Once installed, they must test their BrAC and get a reading of 0.0 percent alcohol before they can start their car. 

Learn more about portable breathalyzers and some of the more common questions we receive about them! If you’re still left with questions, please contact us and our state specialists can help you with anything you need.

Where are Portable Breathalyzers Used?

We’ve explained a little bit about how portable breathalyzers are used. While individuals use them to monitor their own drinking, law enforcement also makes use of them to test drivers they suspect of driving under the influence. Personal breathalyzers may also be purchased for certain workplaces where random testing is necessary for compliance. In all cases, they are used to prevent people from driving or operating heavy machinery under the influence of alcohol. 

What are the Benefits of Having a Personal Breathalyzer?

Portable breathalyzers can help prevent drunk driving. It’s hard to judge your level of intoxication, especially because alcohol impairs judgment. Testing yourself before getting behind the wheel can prevent you from driving under the influence, or making other unsafe choices. 

Handheld breathalyzers are easy to use, and difficult to use incorrectly. There’s not a lot of room for human error when using one, and doing so makes roads safer for all.

What Else Should I Know About Using a Personal Breathalyzer?

The impact of using a personal breathalyzer is overwhelmingly positive. However, there are a few things some users might consider negative. Occasionally, the technology is inaccurate and gives false positives. In some cases, the device may even lock you out after recording multiple false positives.

They’re also expensive to purchase. Leasing a device is cheaper, but is still an added expense budget-conscious drivers may not appreciate. 

Ignition interlock devices can also be leased, and have better accuracy than portable breathalyzers. This may be a better solution for some users.

How Do I Use My Portable Breathalyzer?

To use your portable breathalyzer, you’ll be providing a breath sample so it can test your breath alcohol concentration. With Intoxalock devices, the process works like this: 

  1. Fasten your mouthpiece to the handheld device
  2. Press the button to turn on the device and wait for it to say “blow.”
  3. Provide a breath sample by blowing, then inhaling, then blowing into the device. Intoxalock uses this
  4. blow-inhale-blow method, other devices may be different.
  5. Wait a few seconds for results to show on screen
  6. To re-test, blow in the mouthpiece again.

If you fail the test, that’s a signal that you shouldn’t drive. Typically, waiting until you sober up will solve this issue. With a simple action, you’ve behaved responsibly and made the roads safer for everyone, including yourself. If you have questions or are interested in installing an ignition interlock device, contact Intoxalock to learn more.



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