Breathalyser Technical Support
PLEASE READ THE BELOW INFORMATION IN FULL. DUE TO MEDIA HYPE AND POOR REPORTING THERE IS MUCH CONFUSION OF WHAT A BREATHALYSER RESULT SHOULD BE:
In most cases, requests for technical support can be resolved by reading our guide to the most common reported issues.
My Breathalyser is 'not working' ?
This is very occasionally all we receive by e mail or a telephone call ! Please try and offer us some more details and we will gladly help out !
1. Sounds obvious, BUT - please ensure that the batteries are inserted the correct way around or try a brand new set of batteries. It also does not mean an awful lot to our support team to receive an e mail simply saying 'it is not working' eg you wouldn't take your car to a garage and simply tell the mechanic that it is 'not working' - please try and be more specific and read all the links and attachments below before contacting us. Please also ensure that you are testing 15 minutes after your last alcohol drink and that a deep lung sample of air is steadily blown into the breathalyser for the required period of time.
Breathalyser not giving the results I expect ?
1. In an extremely high number of cases, peoples' expectations of what the alcohol reading should be on the device are normally off the mark. Government guidelines and drink driving campaigns give the impression that 2 x pints of beer MAY put you over the limit. In addition there has been a HUGE AMOUNT of scaremongering and very poor reporting (in particular in the Scottish press and media, with the December 2014 new limit taking effect). In one article, it was claimed that 1 pint of beer will put you over the limit the morning after and 8 hours later !
Unfortunately this is totally inaccurate in most cases totally misleading and inaccurate.
Being aware of alcohol intake is very sensible and many 'guidelines' are trying to cater for the 'worst case' scenario ie an individual who is of a small stature, slow metabolism, poor liver metabolism function and not a regular drinker. Sadly there are also a number of companies who are also very good at scaremongering in order to boost sales with claims that after a few pints of beer you 'could' be over the limit the next morning.
However, in reality, the claims can be quite misleading as a large number of factors will affect the reading - age, size, male/female, duration of alcohol consumption, whether a meal has been taken (helps absorb the alcohol). Please read on !
ANY AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL will impair judgement and increase the risk of an accident. It is very easy - DO NOT DRINK IF YOU ARE DRIVING.
I had a lot of alcohol last night or consumed eg 3 pints of beer/2 glasses of wine and this AM the unit registers 0 - it can't possibly be right !
I had a couple of glasses of wine and then tested and blew 0
I had at least 3 x pints of beer and the unit says I am legal to drive a couple of hours later - can't be right, I must be over the limit !
WARNING: The following information is given as a guide only. The ONLY safe limit is a 0 reading and abstention from alcohol to ensure that the body is completely clear.
Most people expect a breathalyser to pick up any amount of alcohol consumed and in some cases expect this to show having stopped drinking many hours ago. The classic claim: 'I had 3 pints of beer (or 2 large glasses of wine) at 10:00pm last night and the breathalyser showed 0 at 8:00am this morning - must be wrong !'
Put simply - at very low levels of alcohol (which are a long way below the drink driving limits) most breathalysers (including full Police issue) will struggle to pick up a positive very low alcohol content breath sample - they will often give a 0 reading and some of the semiconductor devices are optimised to work at moderate to higher levels.
In addition, unless you have been drinking very heavily for some considerable time and have had a very limited amount of sleep, most healthy livers will process the alcohol far more quickly than most people expect.
The Science - Despite some claims to the contrary (sadly, as mentioned above, scaremongering in order to increase their sales by some companies), most people will absorb and metabolise alcohol at a rate of between 0.06 and 0.11 mg/l per hour (mg/l as shown on AL2500, AL6000, AL7000, Lion 400, Lion 500 devices) - or put in different units, between 6 and 11 ug/100ml per hour (ug/100ml as shown on Drager 6510, 6810 and Alcovisor Mk X, Mars, Mercury and Jupiter Series) or 0.014% and 0.025% BAC per hour (%BAC as shown on the Alcosafe KX6000S).
Sounds complicated !!!?
For practical purposes:
If you blow the UK limit of 0.35 mg/l (35 ug/100ml or 0.08% equivalent) then in some cases, if you metabolise alcohol at a high rate or have consumed with a meal,, you could theoretically be clear of the alcohol and possibly read 0 in a little over 3 hours.
If you blew the new Scottish limit of 0.22 mg/l (50 mg/100ml of blood) then you could theoretically be clear of the alcohol just over 2 hours later if you have a fast metabolism.
This information is scientifically based, is not guess work and has been provided by Lion Laboratories of Cardiff, United Kingdom - one of the largest manufacturers of high quality, highly accurate Police Equipment for sale to UK and overseas Police Forces. Lion Labs supply all the Police Station evidential desk top devices that are used as evidence to convict in Court.
Please have a look at this page from Lion Laboratories alcohol absorption guide for UK Police. if you are unable to read it, you can click on the link below the image. (all rights owned by Lion):
Lion Laboratories Alcohol Absorption Guide
Of additional interest may be an independent article that appeared in the Croydon Advertiser Newspaper; a Police issue Drager 6510 (Approx £800 each) was used to test various drinkers in a pub. They were asked how much they had drunk and also how much they expected to blow on the Police breathalyser. In almost all cases the guesses were wildly inaccurate and a large proportion of the public were very surprised by their reading - page 2 of the link below. Of particular note is a large, fit young man who had consumed 3 x pints of beer and 4 x glasses of wine, he expected to blow 90 microgrammes (UK limit 35 and Scotland 22 on this particular device) and actually blew 38 microgrammes (only just over the limit)- 'personally I wouldn't even ride a push bike home right now' he was quoted as saying. THE ONLY SAFE LIMIT IS 0 and ABSTENTION FROM ALCOHOL.
Croydon Advertiser Article
Finally, have a look at the video on a Drager 6510 Police issue page. A reporter drinking 3 x pints of beer and being breath tested by the Police.
The above references are given as background information only, in order to help people understand that alcohol can be absorbed at different rates, depending on the individual and a 'gut' feeling of I should be blowing a higher reading is unscientific and a totally unreliable method of assessment. They are not designed to encourage anyone to risk drinking any amount of alcohol and thinking that they may be legal to drive but make VERY interesting reading against the background of hype pushed out in the media.
THE ONLY SAFE LIMIT IS 0 and ABSTENTION FROM ALCOHOL.
If you remain unsure as to whether your device is working correctly, have a glass of wine or pint of beer and then test after just 10 minutes - if the device is registering alcohol then it is normally working correctly. An additional check would be to simultaneously test someone who has not had a drink, if they blow 0 and you blow a positive reading, that should prove that the device is picking up alcohol and is likely to be working correctly providing it has been regularly calibrated in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines.
However, ALL Breathalyzers are a guide only (even the £750+ Police issue devices are only used as screening units at the UK roadside and the results of these tests are not admissible in a UK Court as evidence). Regular recalibration is required on ALL breathalysers to maintain optimum accuracy levels.
Order Recalibration Here
THE ONLY SAFE LIMIT IS 0 and ALCOHOL ABSTENTION FOR PERIOD OF TIME TO ENSURE NO RESIDUAL ALCOHOL IS IN YOUR SYSTEM.
Do not use your breathalyzer as a tool to drink and then drive !
I had a pint of beer or a glass of wine and then tested myself an hour later and blew 0 - can not be right ?
Please see above. If you have consumed over a reasonable period of time, eaten a meal, are a regular drinker etc then it is entirely possible that you may have absorbed and metabolised the alcohol based on Lion Laboratories scientific studies. As always, if in doubt - DO NOT DRIVE !
I had a reading that showed me over the limit and then 30 mins later it showed a low reading :
This is normally due to not having waited 15 mins after your last alcoholic drink to test. Mouth alcohol will inflate the reading and give a false high result. The mouth alcohol effect is normally gone within 15 minutes and the second test will be much lower as a result, and also more accurate, Please wait 15 minutes before testing. possible that you may ha
I am getting unusually high or very low readings - false positive readings ?
Classic sign of the need for re calibration. Contact us.
I am getting variable consecutive readings ?
If you perform multiple tests in a short space of time, then it is common for the readings to vary a little and they will often decrease as the alcohol is exhausted from the alveoli in the lungs. This will of course be temporary only ! Please also ensure you are giving a DEEP LUNG sample. If you are getting results of eg less than 10 microgrammes please put this into perspective ! You can legally fly a civil airliner in the UK up to 9 microgrammes per 100ml.
Err 2 Message on AL7000 ?
Try removing and inserting the replacement sensor at the rear of the unit. Please ensure that the sensor is pushed home firmly with the pad of your thumb. A loose sensor will normally present an Err 2 message.
E8 Message on AlcoVISOR Mars ?
This will be due to someone having blown a very high alcohol content sample into the device ie someone trying to inflate a reading by blowing into the device straight after alcohol or mouthwash. The sensor will have become saturated and the device will need recalibration. This is not normally covered under warranty and is considered misuse. The instructions are quite clear about the need to wait 15 mins before testing.