We will be publishing reviews of the digital breathalysers on this website in this section. What we like about each one, how to use it and also anything we don't like. We will also be sharing our reviews of the single use breathalysers and alcohol test kits
Review of the Mission Single Use Disposable Breathalyzer Kits
This review was written by one of our breathalyzer technical advisors Mike and was published on the blog http://drugs-and-alcohol.co.uk. Here is the breathalyzer kit review:
Using the Mission disposable breathalyzer kits is very easy. They are supplied in boxes of 3, 6 or 20 single use breathalyzer kits, and each kit is sealed in a foil pouch. The breathalyzer kits come with a very detailed set of instructions and data included, but the actual test procedure is very simple. Simply remove one of the breathalyzer tubes from its sealed pouch and when you are ready to test, squeeze the central clear section to break the internal crystal tube. The crystals are all a light golden yellow colour. Blow through the tube for 12 seconds, this needs a good breath in before you start.
Reading the results on the Mission single-use breathalyser kit
Don't read the results straight away, the correct result is the one showing 2 minutes after you started blowing. If the result is positive and above the alcohol cut off for the test the crystals will have changed colour to a pale green/grey or blue/grey colour. The colour is not strong or dark but quite distinct from the starting golden yellow. In negative tests, the crystals will remain golden yellow. There is no colour chart provided, so we found it helpful to compare the positive results against an un-used breathalyzer test kit, but this did mean we had to open a second test to use as the comparison, but if you are doing the test regularly this will not be needed.
What we liked about the Mission breath alcohol test kit
- Its very small, lightweight & discrete and would fit easily in a handbag, glove box or even your pocket
- It was very easy to use
- It came in a box of
- It gave a result quickly & accurately
- Easily disposed of after use
AL6000 Digital Breathalyzer Review
The AL6000 Breathalyzer has now been available for almost 10 years. As it is one of the most popular digital breathalyzers in the UK we decided to review it. This review was written and published on the blog http://drugs-and-alcohol.co.uk.
What we like about the AL6000 breathalyser
- Great design, smart professional looking digital breathalyzer
- Ergonomic design fits in your hand comfortably
- Reliable & robust in everyday use
- Comes supplied with batteries
- Suppled with 5 professional breathalyzer mouthpieces which can be re-used, if it has just been purchased for personal use.
- The latest models of AL6000 give the buyer the ability to change the sensor every 300 tests, fitting a new pre-calibrated sensor, set by the manufacturer for accuracy.
- Easy to change sensor-simply pull out old one, push new one in (no screwdriver or technical expertise required but fitting the connecting cable into the sensor ports can be a little fiddly)
- The AL6000 breathalyzer does not have to be sent away for service.
- Replacement batteries easily available-takes 2AA batteries
- Replacement sensors for AL6000 are inexpensive & widely available for around £17-20 pounds
- The AL6000 breathalyzer is able to give an accuracy of +/_ 0.1%BAC at 1.0%BAC, this means that a test result of 0.10%BAC should not vary by more than 0.09% to 1.1%BAC in a close series of successive tests.
- The semiconductor sensor is tough and resists clogging and corrosion as well as any of the other breathalyzers of a similar price.
- With careful use, you should expect around 300 accurate tests from each sensor, but this is dependent on careful usage and storage and to a degree, the levels of alcohol measured.
- Replacement mouthpieces for AL6000 widely available and inexpensive.
- Excellent value for money
Things to take into consideration if purchasing an AL6000 breathalyzer or a replacement sensor
- Smokers should expect shorter sensor life as tar and CO do not mix well with alcohol sensors.
- Be sure to ventilate the breathalyzer well after use as condensation can cause the sensor to rust and fail if it is packed away immediately after use.
- When purchasing al Al6000 breathalyzer it is important to buy a unit with the correct display option, as this cannot be changed later and is fixed at manufacture. Modern models have the decimal place spray painted on the front screen of the LCD display which is read if the display is to be read in %BAC (percentage blood alcohol concentration)
- At this point, it may be helpful to point out that the majority of modern AL6000 breathalyzers display breath alcohol level readings in mg/L,
- The AL6000 breathalyzer has 2 modes of testing Nor = normal and Fst = fast the fast mode is what it says and the breath sample and accuracy are reduced for a fast test.
- In reality, most users of AL6000 breathalyzers nearly always test in normal mode as this significantly increases the accuracy of the result.
- Normal mode takes a 5-second deep breath lung sample and will indicate with a Flo display if the breath sample is not maintained for the full sample time.
- When buying a new sensor for an AL6000 be sure to match the colour circuit board to the one your breathalyzer has as they are not interchangeable. Most have red circuit boards, but older models are green and they cannot be mixed. If the wrong sensor is inserted the breathalyser will not work and the sensor is not usable once it has been connected to the breathalyser.
- New sensors will have a test count of 6-12 tests needed for their calibration.
- Before fitting a new sensor remove the batteries. This is very important. Failure to do so can ruin the new sensor on some occasions.
Our Opinion on the AL6000 breathalyser breathalyser
All in all the AL6000 breathalyser offers excellent value for money and is a great buy for anyone considering buying a digital breathalyzer for personal use.
AL7000 digital breathalyser review
The AL7000 breathalyser is a well proven and reliable semiconductor digital breathalyser which has been available for sale for almost 10 years in various formats. The design of the AL7000 breathalyzer has stood it in very good stead against the competition, and numerous upgrades to its electronics now still leave it in pole position against the competing semiconductor models. Semiconductor breathalysers have been criticised for being fragile in a number of ways. Physically fragile and prone to impact failure is no more the case with the sensor module than the on-board electronics in both fuel cell and semiconductor models.
The AL7000 breathalyzer can be prone to smoke damage
Fragile in terms of exposure to alcohol and failure due to tar and cigarette smoke components have been an issue. In everyday use, a semiconductor will be good for 200 tests if it is not exposed to high levels of alcohol in every test sample. Use one on a series of inebriated alcoholics in quick succession and the calibration will be lost much sooner. This exposure effect is well documented, but users should be aware of the effect if false positives are shown after a series of high alcohol samples/readings. If this occurs, change the sensor. Avoid taking samples from recent smokers. This can affect both semiconductor and fuel cell units but cigarette smoke is a sure fire way to kill a semiconductor sensor. Avoid sampling smokers for at least 20 minutes post cigarette.
It is easy to change the sensor on the AL7000
The above 2 issues are not restricted to the AL7000 breathalyser, and in fact, the sensor design in the AL7000 makes it the best lasting and most reliable of all the sensor exchange designs available. The great advantage of the AL7000 design comes when you need to change the sensor ~ it's so easy ! (take out your batteries to avoid damaging your new sensor) just open the port on the rear, grab, pull and remove. Push in the new sensor and re-insert your batteries. Ready to go. AL7000 sensors should cost about £20 every 200 tests.
Alcodigital Platinum Fuel Cell Breathalyser Review
The Alcodigital Platinum is a very welcome addition to our breathalyser catalogue as it is one of the best value fuel cell breathalyzers on the market in the UK currently.
What we like about the Alcodigital Platinum Breathalyser
- Fuel cell so high accuracy
- Excellent price for a fuel cell breathalyser
- Compact, lightweight and attractive design
- Reliable and robust in everyday use
- Supplied with a hard carry case to protect it
- Supplied with 5 mouthpieces and batteries
- The breathalyser sensor can be changed by the user and replacement sensors are widely available.
- Takes our professional mouthpieces with uni-directional valves which can be treated as disposable when doing workplace or healthcare testing, keeping the cost per test low.
- Ideal high accuracy fuel cell digital breathalyser for individuals, schools, nightclubs and healthcare
- Over the life of the breathalyser the Alcodigital Platinum offers the lowest overall cost per test of any professional grade fuel cell breathalyser.
Drawbacks to Alcodigital Platinum breathalyser
- It is non-evidential so while it makes an excellent alcohol screening breathalyzer with high accuracy but for workplace testing, you may still require a method of confirmation prior to disciplinary action. ( if you need an evidential breathalyser consider the Draeger 6820 workplace evidential breathalyzer with a printer.
DA5000 Breathalyzer Review (came off our catalog in spring 2018 )
This review of the DA5000 breathalyzer was written by Mike one of our breathalyzer technical advisors.
- The DA5000 is easy to use handheld digital breathalyzer suitable for everyday testing by consumers and business users.
- A single button operates the breathalyzer which then gives clear tonal guides to assist users as they blow into the DA5000,
- A clear double beep is given when an adequate sample has been blown and the breathalyzer then calculates and displays the measured blood alcohol concentration equivalent in a digital mg per 100ml display.
- The DA5000 is also pre-set with a 50mg/100ml alarm level. This is the European prosecution level (which remains below the current ( March 2015 ) UK level of 80mg/100ml. Scotland has now adopted the lower European limit.
- The DA5000 offers good value for money.
- It also offers good accuracy and perhaps the lowest cost sensor replacement option of any breathalyzer in its class.
- Expect to change the sensor every 300 tests (if you buy a breathalyzer which has a fixed sensor you will have to return it to a service center for service after the same period to keep the accuracy)
- Changing the sensor can be a little fiddly, needing a Philips screwdriver, but once you have done it once then it's plain sailing.
- If you want to pay more for an AL6000 or AL7000 breathalyzer the design offers much easier sensor changing and different styling.
- The DA5000 is still good value for money.