Advice and Expertise from the
UK's Top Breathalyser Specialists

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Breathalysers & Alcohol Testing
 

 
UKBreathalysers stock the widest range of Breathalyser products of any company in the UK. 
Owned by Drug & Alcohol Testing market leaders AlcoDigital, we place customer service at the heart of our business and our proud of the fact that over 20% of our sales come from returning customers and recommendations; we've been selling Breathalysers for over 11 years and built up an unparalleled depth of knowledge that we use to ensure that we offer the right products to meet our customers' needs. 

AlcoDigital's servicing facilities ensure we are able to test, repair, calibrate and maintain your equipment; we don't simply "shift boxes" and walk away.  You can call us between 9:30am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday and speak directly to one of our experts who will help you find what you need or you can browse the site, read some of the many articles and self-help "FAQ"s and find a solution to your requirements online.  Or use our popular "Help Me Choose" feature to step through the options available.  Whatever you're looking for, you will find the best solution from UKBreathalysers.

  • Disposable, single-use Breathalysers either for use in France (NF approved) or for UK use
  • A range of over 16 different personal Breathalysers for use when testing yourself
  • Fully Home Office Certified Breathalysers designed for use when testing someone else
  • Interlock Breathalysers to fit to the car to ensure it won't start if the driver isn't sober
  • Breathalyser Access controls and scanners like the revolutionary AlcoSense Trutouch, or Lifeloc Sentinel
  • The unique AlcoSafe Breathalyser controlled Keysafe - ideal for forecourts, valet companies and small multi-vehicle businesses
  • Lab-in-a-Bag, the only fully integrated Drug & Alcohol Testing system with Home Office Approved Breathalysers
  • Full Breathalyser Calibration and Servicing facilities with manufacturer Approvals from Draeger, Lifeloc, Q3i, AlcoScan and many more
  • Approved Substance Abuse Diagnostics Techniques Training courses for Breathalysers and Drug Testing


Or fnd a test-yourself Breathalyser from our range below - click an icon below to view in more detail

 

How does a Breathalyser Work?

When you drink, alcohol is digested in the stomach and passes through the stomach wall into the blood stream. Broadly speaking, neat alcohol (such as a straight whisky for example) drunk on an empty stomach is likely to enter the bloodstream more quickly than, say, a milk-based cocktail drunk after a fairly full meal. This does not mean you will become more intoxicated from the straight whisky - just that the effect is likely to be felt more quickly. Once in the blood stream it passes around the body and generates the usual effects of alcohol on the body and brain. As the blood passes through the liver it is gradually filtered from the bloodstream, reducing at each "pass" until there is no longer any residual alcohol in the body. It also passes through the alveoli in the lungs, and as you breathe and the oxygen passes into the bloodstream, so does some of the alcohol in your blood "evaporate" into the air in your lungs. It is this alcohol that a Breathalyser is designed to measure. This is why it is necessary to measure deep lung air when using a Breathalyser (see "sampling" below), and why it is important not to drink within 15 minutes of testing - otherwise alcohol that remains in your mouth will be blown directly into the detector, at far higher concentrations than is the case from alcohol that has passed through the stomach, into the bloodstream, and into the air you breathe out. Clearly the concentrations are often very low and the sensors have to be very sensitive to detect the levels involved - hence why it is so important not to smoke or drink before using them and why obtaining an accurate and consistent sample of air is so important.

Consumer Breathalysers vs Police Breathalysers
In recent years there has been a large number of "consumer" or "personal" Breathalysers introduced, however these devices generally make use of far cheaper semi-conductor based sensors which estimate the concentration of the sample based upon one or two pre-calibrated points, typically 0.03% and 0.10% BAC. At these values they tend to be quite accurate, but away from their datum points the drift can be quite dramatic - anything up to 30-35% variance on cheaper models is not unusual. The Semi-Conductor technology is however also dramatically cheaper; whereas a typical Police Breathalyser costs around �800, many semi-conductor devices sell for less than �30 (although some of their claims for accuracy are at the least, questionable!)


Hand-held field testing devices are generally based on electrochemical platinum fuel cell analysis and, depending upon jurisdiction, may be used by officers in the field as a form of "field sobriety test" commonly called PBT (preliminary breath test) or PAS (preliminary alcohol screening) or as evidential devices in POA (point of arrest) testing. Digital Breath analyzers do not directly measure blood alcohol content or concentration, which requires the analysis of a blood sample. Instead, they estimate BAC indirectly by measuring the amount of alcohol in ones breath.