10 Best Breathalyzers in 2018

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Most of us can normally tell when we have had too much to drink and when it is therefore unsafe to drive, but there are times when we are not so sure and could just be over the legal limit and thus would be prosecuted if stopped by the police. An extra serving of wine during a lengthy meal for example that we are sure would be absorbed by the food, or the morning after a heavy session when, although we feel 100% sober, a breathalyzer would solemnly disagree.

Its easily done and happens in all innocence, but unfortunately, the law will not see it that way, and you could lose your license or worse. A sure-fire way to combat this uncertainty is to use a personal breathalyzer. Small, discrete and reliable, these clever machines are quick to use and may one day get us out of a lot of trouble.

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best overall rating
  • Easy to carry
  • It’s fun!
  • Limit reminder
premium choice rating
  • Extended battery
  • Self-calibrating
  • Very accurate
great value rating
  • Great price
  • NHTSA & DOT approved
  • Looks great

With that in mind let’s look at the top Ten personal breathalyzers for sale that are available to the public and also think about what to consider when buying a breathalyzer.

View the Best Rated Breathalyzer, Below.

best overall rating

1. BACtrack C6 Keychain Breathalyzer

BACtrack C6 Keychain Breathalyzer

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

The BACtrack Portable Keychain Mini Breathalyzer is a dinky bac meter that can attach to your keychain. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because this breathalyzer is so tiny, it doesn’t pack any power as you may read in a different backpack keychain breathalyzer review. It works at its best when testing for total sobriety, so this bac tester can be relied upon to give accurate recordings when there is zero alcohol in your system, and this makes it ideal for alcohol tests in a work or perhaps sporting environment.

This unit comes in several different colors, has a thirty-day money back guarantee and a full years warranty. Best of all, it requires no calibration, so this saves you expensive trips to the lab for an expert to reset the unit. Devices that do not require calibration can save you a small fortune if you intend to keep using it for several years.

This means investing in a slightly more expensive, but self-calibrating model, is the wisest move. Best of all is it is a constant reminder to check your alcohol level, as soon as you take your keys out to open your car doors there it is and using it might help you avoid a whole lot of trouble.

See more information on BACtrack C6 Keychain Breathalyzer.

Why We Like It
  • Easy to carry
  • It’s fun!
  • Limit reminder
  • Looks great
  • Easy to use
Accuracy Range
+/-0.01
Mouthpieces
2
Dimensions
1.4 x 0.6 x 2.4 Inches
Our Verdict

Although considered a novelty item, this little tester is still great for checking for a zero blood alcohol content and highly accurate at doing so.

Editor Rating
premium choice rating

2. AlcoMate Premium AL7000 Professional Breathalyzer

AlcoMate Premium AL7000 Professional Breathalyzer

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

At 4 x 2 x 0.8 inches this home breathalyzer tester will also fit as neatly in your pocket as your phone. It is powered by two AA batteries that will just about never run out as a test only takes fifteen seconds to complete. The beauty of these personal breathalyzers is unlike many of their competitors, these are is self-calibrating using advanced PRISM technology, and this removes the need of user servicing perhaps leading to It being regarded as the best home breathalyzer in that respect.

Coming in as being accurate within 5/100 % this is almost as accurate as those used by police departments. The device comes with a heavy-duty hard case with a pouch, hand strap, and car adapter. This is a highly popular device that gets five stars from 84% of its Amazon reviewers and is clearly considered a candidate as one of the top breathalyzers available.

One downside to the machine is that some diabetics have reported experiencing false positive results and as yet this hasn’t been noted as a fault or just a glitch nor has it been dealt with.

See more information on AlcoMate Premium AL7000 Professional Breathalyzer.

Why We Like It
  • Extended battery
  • Self-calibrating
  • Very accurate
  • Extras
  • Test is quick
Accuracy Range
+/-0.01
Mouthpieces
3
Dimensions
4 x 2 x 0.8 Inches
Our Verdict

The AL7000 is nice and easy to carry around and offers a fair degree of accuracy, it will also save you money is no need to take it to the lab for re-calibration.

Editor Rating
great value rating

3. Vandora Digital Breath Alcohol Tester

Vandora Digital Breath Alcohol Tester

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

While not the most capable of passing the most accurate portable breathalyzer test, this is the best at such a low breathalyzer price and as such could be called the best cheap breathalyzer. Even though it costs significantly less than most other machines, it too also has the approval of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This machine is highly portable and convenient being extremely light and compact.

Using fuel cell technology, its results only fractionally differ to official breathalyzers used by law enforcement agencies and yet costs a great deal less than many of its peers. What this device excels at is revealing blood alcohol levels of absolute zero so is perfect for those who require confirmation that no alcohol whatsoever is present in their system in a test that may be work based and one that demands that absolutely no alcohol is present in your blood at all.

This system requires calibration every six to twelve months which must be carried out as failure to do so will render the machine inoperable.

See more information on Vandora Digital Breath Alcohol Tester.

Why We Like It
  • Great price
  • NHTSA & DOT approved
  • Looks great
  • Fuel cell tech
  • Lightweight
Accuracy Range
+/-0.01
Mouthpieces
3
Dimensions
4 x 2 x 0.6 Inches
Our Verdict

This nifty breath tester is low range and so is best suited to proving total sobriety, and it is very good at doing just that!

Editor Rating

4. BACtrack Mobile Smartphone Breathalyzer

BACtrack Mobile Smartphone Breathalyzer

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

These bac breathalyzers are a little bit different from the others in that it couples with your smartphone to create a highly accurate piece of kit. Recent tests show that in competition against an official police grade breathalyzer, in each result this machine was never higher than 0.001% away from the official device's readings. This breathalyzer comes in at 1.8 by 0.6 by 2.8 inches which are about half the size of the phone you couple it with. By marrying up the telephone and breathalyzer, you get much more information and statistics as results are stored in your phone's memory.

One very nice touch is, providing you don’t have another drink, the phone will calculate and sound an alarm when your blood alcohol level has reached 0.00, and you are entirely in the clear to drive. This is a definite positive in this devices favor. There are a couple of negatives though, the price isn’t too wallet-friendly, and some backtrack reviews have expressed concerns that the app that you use in conjunction with the home breathalyzer test is open to abuse on social media as it does push that use as you publish the results and publicize the machine.

Of course, though, that would be the fault of the individual user, not the app itself. This machine won an award for best breathalyzer 2017.

See more information on BACtrack Mobile Smartphone Breathalyzer.

Why We Like It
  • Smartphone compatible
  • Produces useful data
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Award candidate
  • It’s different!
Accuracy Range
+/-0.01
Mouthpieces
3
Dimensions
1.8 x 0.6 x 2.8 Inches
Our Verdict

This breathalyzer is just great. The amount of data and info it provides gives you a detailed insight into just how much you drink as well as protecting you from drink driving.

Editor Rating

5. BACtrack Trace Professional Alcohol Tester

BACtrack Trace Professional Alcohol Tester

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Whilst, not the cheapest on the market this best breathalyzer is recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) making it worth the slight extra cost. Widely acknowledged as being as an accurate breathalyzer and as reliable as the professional gauges used by police departments, tests have shown it to be spot on with only 1/100 of a percent chance of being erroneous.

This machine needs recalibrating once a year, but this can easily be carried out by a professional in the laboratory. It is equally simple to perform a breath test on yourself once you have read the instructions. This breathalyzer brand is exceptionally lightweight and small without being troublesomely so.

It is ideal to carry around in a pocket or purse and could safely be stored in your glove compartment and is much praised in every single bactracS80 review. You can try the BACtrack Breathalyzer for thirty days and return it if you do not think it might be the best personal breathalyzer for you.

See more information on BACtrack Trace Professional Alcohol Tester.

Why We Like It
  • NHTSA & DOT approved
  • Very accurate
  • One of the best available
  • Easy to use
  • Compact
Accuracy Range
+/-0.01
Mouthpieces
5
Dimensions
2.3 x 0.8 x 4.8 Inches
Our Verdict

This is a top of the range product and performs like it is as well. There is very little difference in performance between the S80 and those used by the police.

Editor Rating

6. Pro-Tec Professional Grade Breathalyzer

Pro-Tec Professional Grade Breathalyzer

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This superb device is used by both the US Navy and the US Coastguard and is also certified by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This self-calibrating machine gives as accurate readings as the top devices without the added servicing costs and could claim to be the most accurate breathalyzer. As it does service itself, it will continue to give years of accurate readings without you having to trouble yourself with keeping it in prime working order.

This is quite a simple and top-rated breathalyzer to use, but you do need to familiarise yourself with the instructions the first couple of times you use it. About the size of an iPhone, this unit is easy to carry around and can be securely stored in your glove compartment. Knowing that it calibrates itself means you can be sure of accurate results.

See more information on Pro-Tec Professional Grade Breathalyzer.

Why We Like It
  • Self-calibrating
  • Navy approved
  • Highly accurate
  • Value for money
  • Easy to use
Accuracy Range
+/-0.01
Mouthpieces
5
Dimensions
2 x 0.6 x 4 Inches
Our Verdict

This is an extremely accurate breathalyzer as well as being self-calibrating which means you are getting two of the most essential features of a breathalyzer in one machine.

Editor Rating

7. ACE II Basic Professional Digital Alcohol Tester

ACE II Basic Professional Digital Alcohol Tester

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The ACE II Basic Professional Digital Alcohol Tester Slim Digital Breathalyzer makes the list purely based on price so if you are looking for super accuracy, this may not be for you. It’s a one button machine which takes a little time to warm up but once it does you simply blow through the tube for about five seconds. The results are displayed on a red LED screen that shows two digits. Remarkably light and nicely compact, this device is highly portable.

The unit takes two AA batteries, and when these are running low, it can take the device even longer to warm up. As said, this is a discount model not without its faults, but if you have had one or two the night before and want to check you are legal just before setting off to work, this breathalyzer is ideal for the job and comes with a really great price tag.

It is not, however, recommended as an excellent guide if you have been drinking within the last hour or so for example and need to know whether it is safe to drive or not. This breathalyzer was a candidate for best breathalyzer 2018.

See more information on ACE II Basic Professional Digital Alcohol Tester.

Why We Like It
  • Ultra slim
  • Award candidate
  • Easy to read the screen
  • Best for a zero check
  • Price
Accuracy Range
+/-0.01
Mouthpieces
5
Dimensions
5.2 x 1.7 x 0.8 Inches
Our Verdict

One of the cheaper models but at the same time is highly accurate for checking total sobriety. So this makes it ideal for testing your BAC limit first thing in the morning.

Editor Rating

8. GDbow Breathalyzer Portable Alcohol Tester

GDbow Breathalyzer Portable Alcohol Tester

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The manufacturers of this device claim it is so accurate it can even detect whether or not a breastfeeding mother has a safe BAC level meaning it is perfectly ok to pump for a child! Lightweight and a perfect pocket breathalyzer it being sized at 5.5 x 1.9 x 0.8 inches, this device is in the mid-price range and towards the top of the list when it comes to accuracy. A one-touch button system works well and adds to the aesthetics of the device.

There is also storage to fit five of the mouthpieces that come supplied. Accurate to a BAC between 0.05 and 0.5%, Powered by three AAA batteries, the Aoxin will not run these down in quick time at all and shuts off automatically five seconds after a test completes to help preserve energy. These batteries will last for up to 200 tests in total.

You get your result in about five seconds, and Aoxin recommends that testing should occur at least 20 minutes after you have consumed your last drink to achieve the most accurate and efficient results.

See more information on GDbow Breathalyzer Portable Alcohol Tester.

Why We Like It
  • Long battery life
  • Highly accurate
  • Easy to use
  • Excellent value for money
  • Very portable
Accuracy Range
+/-0.02
Mouthpieces
5
Dimensions
5.5 x 1.9 x 0.8 Inches
Our Verdict

This model is very accurate indeed and in tests and very portable. This breathalyzer is ideal for making sure you are under the limit after a few drinks with a meal and will give you your result quickly.

Editor Rating

9. Tektrade High-Precision Breathalizer

Tektrade High-Precision Breathalizer

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

Supplied with a keychain and 5 mouthpieces the Tektrade High-Precision Breathalizer is lightweight and easy to use. The manufacturer recommends waiting at least twenty minutes since your last drink before using to allow residual alcohol in the mouth to disappear and always allow three minutes or more between tests. This is a highly affordable breathalyzer which measures a petite 2 x 0.6 x 4 inches and weighs under two ounces so is extremely portable. It comes with five mouthpieces and a storage pouch.

This device will go to sleep five seconds after the test results are revealed on a neat LCD screen thus allowing the two AAA batteries to function for a good long time. Amazon reviews have been extremely favorable, and all are four stars or above. This machine is easy to use, and the results are equally simple to understand. Coming in at the mid-price range this is a perfect fit for use and provides excellent value for money.

See more information on Tektrade High-Precision Breathalizer.

Why We Like It
  • Simple to use
  • Great Amazon reviews
  • Long battery life
  • Self Calibrating
  • Inexpensive
Accuracy Range
+/-0.01
Mouthpieces
5
Dimensions
5.4 x 1.7 x 09 Inches
Our Verdict

For what you pay, you get a lot of breathalyzer in this model. It is as accurate and efficient as several models that are more expensive than this one.

Editor Rating

10. Pro-Tec X3000 Professional Breathalizer

Pro-Tec X3000 Professional Breathalizer

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

Although smaller than a mobile phone the Pro-Tex X3000 is loaded with the same fuel cell technology as those breathalyzers used by law enforcement. Coming as it does with five mouthpieces and a full instruction manual, this device is easy to use and highly accurate. An alarm will sound when the time for calibration is close. Attractive in design, this model comes with a 100% money back guarantee that lasts for a full year.

This breathalyzer has a four-digit backlit LCD display and keeps a five test history. Such is the accuracy of this machine it is highly recommended for use when testing your sobriety in relation to driving. At a mid-range price level this breathalyzer should always be considered when thinking about buying home test breathalyzers.

See more information on Pro-Tec X3000 Professional Breathalizer.

Why We Like It
  • Looks great
  • 4 digits display
  • Fuel cell tech
  • Superb guarantee
  • Excellent value for money
Accuracy Range
+/-0.01
Mouthpieces
5
Dimensions
4 x 2 x 0.6 Inches
Our Verdict

This is a great looking breathalyzer that is outstanding at doing its job. Nicely affordable, it is one of the best in its price range and has excellent Amazon reviews.

Editor Rating

Buyer’s Guide

To maintain their accuracy, a number of home breathalyzer testers require calibration by an expert in a laboratory at least once a year. If you frequently use your breathalyzer several times a day or conversely as little as once in every three months or so, this will result in the need for frequent and sometimes quite costly calibration. This is why it is prudent to pick a self-calibrating model from the outset. These may prove initially a little more expensive than those devices which require calibration, but in the long run, you will be saving yourself a good deal of money.

When it comes to accuracy no at home breathalyzer is perfect, and some at home breathalyzers models only claim to come up with estimations and those are fine if a roundabout figure is what you are looking for. But if accurate home breathalyzer tests are essential, then you need to choose a breathalyzer with a much less margin of error. Aim for a differential of as close to 0.001% as possible which is the largest error margin allowed for police-grade breathalyzers.

Please be aware though that any models that claim to guarantee 100% perfect accuracy simply do not provide such spectacular results. If your job or ability to drive a car doesn’t rely on the accuracy of the result, then cheaper, less reliable breathalyzers may be the device for you. When buying a breathalyzer, it has to meet legal standards that are set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S.

breathalyzer-image-2

Coast Guard. So it makes sense that you are going to get the best quality equipment and therefore the most accuracy from a breathalyzer that has been approved by these agencies. These models are dearer, but they will give you the comfort of knowing that if you are showing a BAC level of 0.000, you will almost certainly not be more than 0.001 inaccurate. If you start to wonder where can I buy a breathalyzer?

Then you will find that they come in all ranges from keychain devices to high-end models. How much is a breathalyzer? A cheap breathalyzer can start at around $30 but do not come with any guarantee of accuracy. Spend a little more, and you are much more likely to get more accurate readings. If $150 – $300 is your budget range, you can consider the professional-grade best buy breathalyzers similar to those used by the authorities.

These more expensive models usually don’t require calibration, so could easily save you up to $50 a year. So you ask, where can I buy a breathalyzer and the answer to this is online. There is more choice online and purchasing a breathalyzer could not be easier.

breathalyzer-image-1

How Does a Home Breathalyzer Test Work?

Most hand-held home use breathalyzers make use one of three technologies to detect BAC, a semiconductor oxide sensor, a fuel cell sensor or an infrared spectrometer. The first uses an ethanol specific system involving a tin-oxide material that will detect the amount of BAC from a breath specimen. Fuel sensors measure BAC by causing a chemical reaction that oxidizes alcohol that is found in a breath sample. This creates an electrical current, and the greater the current indicates a higher alcohol level. Lastly, spectrometers identify how molecules absorb light and how much ethanol they contain determines the BAC.

How to use a Breathalyzer?

Depending on the model you are using you generally switch the device on, let it warm up and then blow into a tube for 5 – 20 seconds. The breathalyzer will then beep when your result is ready, and this will be displayed on the LED screen. Refer to the manufacturer’s handbook as to just exactly what your result means.

breathalyzer-image-3

How long Does Alcohol stay in your System?

On average it takes one hour for your system to break down one unit of alcohol, but this can be dependant on your age, gender, weight to name just a few variants. One large glass of wine (250ml) and one strong point of lager each take about three hours to dissipate enough to give a BAC reading of around 0.00.

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Expert Tip

The amount of alcohol in you are legally allowed in your blood when driving varies from region to region and country to country. If you are away from home and intend to drink it is wise to check what that area acceptable levels are, as you may find yourself thinking you are ok and ‘just within the limit’ but in the locality, you are visiting you are actually over the limit and can be prosecuted.

Did you know?

The first drink-driving tests were carried out in New York in 1910 as more cars began to hit the roads and consequently more accidents started to occur. The first ‘alcohol tester’ involved looking for bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, the smell of alcohol, or testing a person’s ability to walk in a straight line. It wasn’t until 1931 that the first machine was used to test a drivers BAC.