- Updated Feb 18, 2020
- Writen by Edward Miller
7 Best Breathalyzers of 2020
- Updated Aug 28, 2019
- Writen by Edward Miller
Police fines for alcohol consumption can be very costly. In fact, some states will even confiscate your license permit if you have an alcohol level that is too high in your blood.
In order to help you remain in the legal limit, the personal breathalyzer will give you a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) result that is as accurate as a real police breathalyzer.
Best, it is extremely easy to use and provide results in a few seconds. Not to mention that due to its small size and low weight, this device is highly portable as well.
If you regularly consume alcohol and own a vehicle, then you have no excuse not to get this accessory.
In order to help you, our breathalyzer review below provides you with a list of quality models that are worth it. Without any further ado, let’s check them out!
- 7 Best Breathalyzers – Reviews
- 1. BACtrack BT-P3 – One of the Cheapest Breathalyzers
- 2. BACtrack S80 – No False Positives
- 3. Twowings Professional Breathalyzer – Ergonomic and Easy to Use
- 4. AlcoMate AL7000 – Simple and Yet Effective
- 5. Drager Alcotest 3820 – Fast Display Time and Aesthetically Pleasing
- 6. BACtrack BT-M5 – Cost-effective Smartphone Breathalyzer
- 7. AlcoHawk PT500 – Accurate and Easy to Use
- How to Buy the Best Breathalyzer
7 Best Breathalyzers – Reviews
1. BACtrack BT-P3 (One of the Cheapest Breathalyzers)
2. BACtrack S80 (No False Positives)
3. Twowings Professional Breathalyzer (Ergonomic and Easy to Use)
4. AlcoMate AL7000 (Simple and Yet Effective)
5. Drager Alcotest 3820 (Fast Display Time and Aesthetically Pleasing)
6. BACtrack BT-M5 (Cost-effective Smartphone Breathalyzer)
7. AlcoHawk PT500 (Accurate and Easy to Use)
1. BACtrack BT-P3
(One of the Cheapest Breathalyzers)
2. BACtrack S80
(No False Positives)
3. Twowings Professional Breathalyzer
(Ergonomic and Easy to Use)
4. AlcoMate AL7000
(Simple and Yet Effective)
5. Drager Alcotest 3820
(Fast Display Time and Aesthetically Pleasing)
6. BACtrack BT-M5
(Cost-effective Smartphone Breathalyzer)
7. AlcoHawk PT500
(Accurate and Easy to Use)
1. BACtrack BT-P3 – One of the Cheapest Breathalyzers
- Size: 4.25 inches x 1.875 inches x 0.625 inches
- Display Time: 10 seconds
The BACtrack BT-P3 is a popular model that is also one of the cheapest breathalyzers that you can get on the market.
This model can display the result in 10 seconds or less. Moreover, due to its length of 4.25 inches, it remains very portable and easy to store. Additionally, the sensor accuracy of + or - 0.005 at 0.05 is pretty good for a breathalyzer in this price range.
It would have no problem detecting alcohol in the blood even if you drank only a glass or 2 of wine. But above all, it uses a platinum-based fuel-cell sensor that is the same technology used in a regular police breathalyzer.
This means that whatever result you get from this device; you will also get it from a police breathalyzer.
Moreover, this model comes with a bright LCD display that is visible both at night as well as in daylight conditions.
The only problem we have with this model is that the build construction is not the best. It is almost entirely made of plastic. Also, the mouthpiece provided may not have a tight fit.
2. BACtrack S80 – No False Positives
- Size: 4.8 inches x 2.3 inches x 0.8 inches
- Display Time: 10 seconds
The problem with many breathalyzers out there is that they tend to display false positives. You get this problem either because of a faulty design, or the breathalyzer has failed to capture the exhalation of the user.
This is certainly not a problem with the BACtrack S80 as this is a good breathalyzer that does not display false positives.
Indeed, this has mostly to do with the temperature check and internal pump technology used in this breathalyzer. Whenever you use it, it will constantly check if the user is blowing hard enough to get a positive reading.
Additionally, it has a crisp 4-digit LCD screen that is clearly visible at any time of the day or at night. Operation is very simple as this is a single pushbutton breathalyzer. Simply push the button, wait for 10 seconds and then breathe in the mouthpiece for 5 seconds and you’re good to go.
We only wished that the build construction could have been better because it has an all-round plastic build. It also displays basic BAC results, and there is no possibility to connect to a smartphone for advance reports.
Despite all this, the BACtrack S80 still remains one of the best personal breathalyzers that you can get.
3. Twowings Professional Breathalyzer – Ergonomic and Easy to Use
- Size: 4.92 inches x 3 .14 inches x 1 .37 inches
- Display Time: 10 seconds
This breathalyzer sports an ergonomic design. It is designed in such a way that you can easily hold it and use in a comfortable position.
There is a small LCD display that has a blue light on this breathalyzer. In low light conditions, you will have no difficulty seeing the BAC result. You also get multiple mouthpieces with this model, so it is great for those who will be sharing their breathalyzer.
Best, this model comes with an automatic shutdown feature. This means that this breathalyzer will automatically shut down after 15 seconds of inactivity to conserve power.
However, there are major caveats with this breathalyzer. It is not the most accurate model out there. Also, the LCD display is not very bright so you will have difficulty seeing it in bright sunlight.
At the end of the day, this model is not the best home breathalyzer that you can get. There are better options in this review.
4. AlcoMate AL7000 – Simple and Yet Effective
- Size: 4 inches x 2 inches x 0 .6 inches
If you are the type of person who prefers is a simple design in your breathalyzer, then the AlcoMate AL7000 is an excellent choice to consider. In fact, it is one of the best breathalyzers on the market when it comes to simplicity.
Also, this model is quite effective, and DOT approved as well as Coast Guard approved because it has decent accuracy levels.
Moreover, you can easily recalibrate this breathalyzer by removing its battery for a few seconds.
What we also like about this breathalyzer is its ease-of-use. Simply press the center button, wait a few seconds for it to warm up, and then blow in the mouthpiece to get a result.
The LCD display screen is quite basic. But it is 4-digits, so it gets the job done. The only problem we have with it is that sometimes it displays inaccurate results.
This breathalyzer may display inaccurate results if the battery is low
5. Drager Alcotest 3820 – Fast Display Time and Aesthetically Pleasing
- Size: 5.2 inches x 2 inches x 1 .1 inches
- Display Time: 3 seconds
There are 2 major aspects that we like about the Drager Alcotest 3820. For one, it is modern looking and aesthetically pleasing. This is a breathalyzer that will impress your friends. Also, since it has a display time of 3 seconds, it is one of the fastest in this review to display a result.
Additionally, the built construction of this breathalyzer is superb. It is made in Germany and built to last. It can even be used for heavy-duty purposes.
Best, you also get audible feedback when it displays its BAC result on its crisp LCD screen. Since this is a one-button breathalyzer, it is extremely easy and simple to use. This model can also conveniently store the past 10 results so that you can check them later. Very neat!
The only problems with this device are that the mouthpiece is small, so it does not deliver a consistent airflow. This may affect the result and make it inaccurate. It is also significantly more expensive than other models.
But other than those, this model by Drager is the best portable breathalyzer when it comes to displaying time, aesthetics, and ease of use.
6. BACtrack BT-M5 – Cost-effective Smartphone Breathalyzer
- Size: 2.8 inches x 1.8 inches x 0 .6 inches
The BACtrack BT-M5 is a unique breathalyzer. It connects to your smartphone by Bluetooth and uses the screen to provide you with the results. Pretty neat!
The results are aesthetical and modern. Despite also having a small digital display, this breathalyzer works with both iOS and Android devices, no problem. Moreover, you can save your BAC results and historically search them overtime for more versatility.
What we also like about this product is its very compact form factor. In fact, it is one of the smallest that you will find in this review and can be made into a keychain if you want.
The accuracy is decent, and this breathalyzer is also long-lasting because it has a quality build construction.
If we can point out a problem, then it is the fact that you require a smartphone to use the advanced features of this keychain breathalyzer. This model is also not the most accurate we have seen.
However, despite a few problems here and there, the BACtrack BT-M5 remains one of the best keychain breathalyzers that you can get.
7. AlcoHawk PT500 – Accurate and Easy to Use
- Size: 6.3 inches x 8.6 inches x 1.8 inches
Despite its small display, the AlcoHawk PT500 is a popular model that is rated by many of its uses as being one of the best breathalyzers on the market.
The reasons for that are simple. This model has excellent built construction, and the display is visible in any light condition. The display itself is afforded it’s so it is quite accurate in showing trace amounts of alcohol in the blood.
Furthermore, this breathalyzer has a menu system that will allow you to access past tests as well as set specific alarm points depending on the BAC you desire to get. If you’re looking for an accurate and easy to use a breathalyzer, then this is the model to get!
The only negative points we can point out with this model is that the sensor has a limited lifespan of 1000 seconds. It is also bigger than other models since it measures an impressive 8.6 inches.
How to Buy the Best Breathalyzer
1. Types of Breathalyzer
There are several types of breathalyzers on the market. Here are a few of the most common ones:
Electrochemical Fuel Cell: As its name suggests, this type of breathalyzers uses an electrochemical reaction to detect the presence of alcohol in your blood. It contains 2 electrodes made from gold and platinum and electrons can pass through them.
If those electrons encounter alcohol, it will oxidize it into acetic acid. The higher concentration of acetic acid produced, the higher the BAC result will be.
Infrared Optical Sensor: Since we note that alcohol absorbs infrared light at a certain wavelength, it becomes easy to measure and calculate the concentration of alcohol using infrared light.
A microprocessor contained inside the breathalyzer makes this calculation. The infrared optical sensor breathalyzer is the most accurate breathalyzer that you can get.
Semiconductor: The semiconductor breathalyzer uses semiconductors inside. A small current pass through those semiconductors and whenever it encounters alcohol, it creates a small resistance.
This small resistance is then calculated with a microprocessor, and the result displayed on the screen.
While at the semiconductor breathalyzer is not the most accurate, it is excellent for those on a small budget.
Size is an important factor to consider, and it will depend on your need and usage. If you are looking for a portable model that is easy to carry, then a breathalyzer with small size makes sense.
However, a small breathalyzer may be limited in functionality. If you want to get the full package and size is not an issue, then it is generally best to go with a larger model.
Sure, you sacrifice portability, but you will normally get police-grade accuracy with a bigger model. A big model will also have enough room for a large LCD display.
Accuracy is vital in a breathalyzer. After all, the whole point of using a breathalyzer is to get an accurate reading of alcohol levels in your blood.
So, ensure that the accuracy of your chosen breathalyzer is between +0.005 and -0.005 BAC to get a police-grade accuracy level. Give or take, this is about the same accuracy range of a police breathalyzer.
One way to make the breathalyzer accurate is calibration. Without proper calibration, the breathalyzer will quickly lose its accuracy and give you wrong results.
Therefore, you must be able to quickly and easily calibrate the breathalyzer.
Many top-rated breathalyzers come with an easy way for the calibration. However, with most models, you will need to remove the battery for a few seconds for it to automatically recalibrate.
In any case, you must ensure that the manufacturer of the breathalyzer makes provision for calibration of the device.
Perhaps the most important feature of the breathalyzer is the screen. This is where you will get all the BAC results.
LCD Screen: You need to ensure that your breathalyzer is equipped with an LCD screen that is bright enough to be seen both during the day as well as in lowlight conditions.
Preferentially, go with a model that allows you to adjust the brightness level.
Digit Display: Also, the digital figures displayed on the LCD screen is important. Specifically, make sure that it is a 4-digit digital display.
This is because to get an accurate result; you need your BAC reading to be between +0.005 and -0.005.
6. Compatible with Smartphone
There a few models of breathalyzers that go an extra step.
There will allow you to totally turn your smartphone into a breathalyzer. They do this by using a Bluetooth connection and a dedicated breathalyzer app installed on your smartphone.
By using this method, your breathalyzer can remain in your pocket or bag, and you get the convenience of using your smartphone instead.
Moreover, the smartphone app of the breathalyzer will usually contain more features, such as the ability to view past results, etc.
The breathalyzer is one of the most convenient ways to check the alcohol level in your blood. If you are not sure whether you are in the legal limit of alcohol consumption, then this is an excellent device to get.
Furthermore, the breathalyzer remains very affordable and portable. Most models measure only a few inches so you can easily carry it in your pocket. But best, they will provide you with police-grade accuracy so you cannot go wrong with the result.
Finally, if you have read our breathalyzer review above and still not chosen a breathalyzer yet, then read it one more time.