Review Details

AlcoSense Pro Fuel Cell Breathalyzer

Product Review (submitted on 12 March 2017):
I bought this unit after much deliberation and research, as I want a unit I can actually trust and it seems the way to achieve genuinely accurate readings is a calibrated fuel cell sensor and a metered sample. Years ago, I tried a cheap no-brand unit based on semiconductor technology that told me I was under the limit despite clearly being in a state where I wouldn’t trust myself with anything more dangerous than a butter knife…Anyway, this unit offers a decent sized fuel-cell sensor, the ability to vary the limit for different jurisdictions and an annual (at a reasonable cost) calibration service. This unit meters the sample size as well as providing a really handy bar type indicator for blow rate. So, this all looked like something that I could take as being accurate. The tests I found on the Internet all backed this line of thought up.In use, this device is really simple to operate, slide open and wait for the countdown of a few seconds to warm up, inset blow-tube and go for it, watching the 2 graphs of blow rate and sample size. When done, the unit beeps and makes a click (I assume the inlet blocking to prevent too large a sample) and you read the results in your chosen units against a simple traffic light background. It also gives a time to zero estimate that turned out to be pretty much on the money for me.Whist I don’t have any way of benchmarking the results, they remain consistent when testing more than once and the numbers decline steadily over time as your metabolise the alcohol in your system. So, all seems to be good. Apparently the unit is designed to over-read slightly as there is always a +/- margin of error, so the displayed value is slid upward to ensure no under-reads.In summary, I am pleased with the purchase as it delivers on the promise of accuracy and despite not being the cheapest, it is actually good value when viewed in the context of a lost licence and the impact on your life / livelihood. Being honest, I would only ever buy from a reputable British company like AlcoSense as you get a quality product which has been developed responsibly and with backup service. If you go for a cheap alternative, then I would say you’re putting yourself at risk - trusting something unreliable and so potentially misleading puts you in a worse position overall.I would also say that this type of device should be used in conjunction with a healthy dose of common sense. If I don’t feel up to it, I don’t drive at all. This needs to be reading green AND the driver feeling good. For me, it’s a morning-after double-check and emphatically not a tool to take it to the limit before getting in the car.