Worldwide, traffic authorities are doing everything they can to prevent and reduce the occurrence of road accidents due to drunk driving. Although governments spend huge amounts of money increasing public awareness about the hazards of drunk driving, we are yet to witness a dramatic improvement.
One important tool the police use are the best breathalyzers on the market and they continue to play a crucial role in helping us curb drunk-driving.
How to Do They WorK?
Using a breathalyzer is simple. A user, using his mouth, just blows into the nozzle of the tester and the instrument instantly displays the BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) up to 3 or 4 digits. The rule of thumb is to wait for at least 10 minutes from the moment you’ve consumed alcohol in order for the device to produce reliable results.
You should wait 15 to 20 seconds immediately after obtaining one reading before doing the next test. These values can vary from product to product so make sure that you check the instruction manual before you use the breathalyzer unit.
Governments have passed strict laws to punish people caught driving on the roads in a drunken condition. Though the minimum acceptable BAC could differ from state to state or country to country, the most practiced norm is a BAC reading of 0.08. Any value higher is considered illegal for driving a vehicle.
Features and Qualities to Look For
All of the best breathalyzers featured in this list are pocket-sized; some are even keychain models. To ensure safety and reliable results, look for units that have been approved by the FDA. Specs make a big difference. For starters, the number of digits (2, 3, or 4 digits) shown in the digital display does matter. The more digits the unit can display, the more precise the reading.
On a Budget
If you have the budget, it’s recommended that you pick the ones that use Fuel Cell Technology on account of its capability to maintain accuracy over a long period of time, not to mention that it requires less calibration than semiconductor sensors.
The Size of an iPhone
Most are the same size as an iPhone and can easily fit into a palm. They run on replaceable batteries, which come in the pack. The mouthpieces through which one blows have to be kept from any dust or other infections, and each instrument is supplied with a few spare ones so that one need not re-use the same mouthpiece with more than one person.
Best Breathalyzer Reviews for 2017
1.BACtrack S80 Pro Tester
This breathalyzer boasts Xtend Fuel Cell Sensor Technology, a professional-grade sensor highly-recommended for its enhanced linear accuracy (0.000 to .400% BAC). It boasts a host of great utility features that improve the accuracy and efficiency of breath captures.
It’s also easy to use, courtesy of its intuitive One-Touch Operation. And you can rest assured that you’re getting a product approved by industry standards since this breathalyzer has passed all federal requirements as a breath alcohol screening device.
- Uses Xtend Fuel Cell Sensor Technology – same technology used in hospitals and law enforcement procedures
- Continuous temperature checking
- Adjustable warning levels
- Interna mini-solenoid breath pump system
- Easy One Touch Operation (just turn on the S80 and you can begin testing in seconds)
- DOT/NHTSA compliant
- Most trusted brand for breathalyzers for 14 years and counting
What’s to like about BACtrack S80
A big majority of buyers agreed on a consensus as to the BACtrack S80’s high-accuracy. It’s pretty consistent too. Use it repeatedly and you’re going to get the same results. Its wide array of features really work hand in hand to bring us a breathalyzer that is as accurate as it is reliable.
Moreover, the BACtrack S80 is quick and easy to use. Its compact build and sleek design make it easy to carry around with you in your pocket, which is a big deal considering you’ll want to have it with you when you go out for a drink.
What’s not to like
Some buyers noted the cheap material the S80 is made of, which makes it prone to breaking if you’re not careful. Also, a handful complained about the “smoke smell” emanating off the case.
With its nice combination of accuracy, reliability, and efficiency, BACtrack S80 sets the gold standard for the best breathalyzers. This is pretty well received on the market, averaging an impressive 4.2 out of 5 in terms of customer reviews (80% of reviews gave it at least 4 out of 5).
2. BACtrack Keychain Breathalyzer
Weighing just under an ounce, BreathKey Keychain is the smallest and lightest breath alcohol tester in the world. Even for its small size, this breathalyzer is accurate and performs on a high level, in large part due to its fuel sensor technology. As the name implies, this tester is so small you can use it as a keychain, making it the most portable breathalyzer ever released.
Also deserving mention is the product’s nifty feedback feature, which produces a beep and an error message instructing the user to either “blow hard” or “blow long” if the user didn’t blow on the nozzle the right way.
- Smallest and lightest breath alcohol tester in the world (weighs less than an ounce)
- Fuel Cell Sensor Technology (same technology used by police officers)
- Engineered and built in the US
- Support and calibration services have a one-day turn around
What’s to like about the BreathKey Keychain
The best thing buyers loved about the BreathKey Keychain is its size and lightweight construction (one customer confirmed that it’s small and portable enough to be stored in a “pocket protector”). Its performance is as equally impressive, with a big majority of buyers complimenting the little device for its exceptional accuracy, with one saying that it reads out in “thousands of a percent.” Impressive indeed!
What’s not to like
As accurate as the product is in terms of results, it does leave a lot of room for human error. The feedback feature compensates for this so it’s really no biggie, but it can be a little annoying at first. Also, you have to wait at least 30 seconds to do the next test, which can be time-consuming if you’re using the device on multiple users at one time.
If you’re looking for one of the best breathalyzers you can easily fit inside your pocket (or use as a keychain for that matter), you can’t go wrong with the BreathKey Keychain. It’s not perfect, but it does have a reliable feedback feature to make up for it. It’s pretty well-received too, with 65% of customers giving it a rating of 4 and above out of five.
3. BACtrack S35 Portable BAC Tester
S35 is another reliable product from the most trusted brand for portable breath alcohol testers, BACtrack. With a calibrating accuracy of 0-0.40%, this palm-sized breathalyzer can be relied on to give the correct status of your blood-alcohol level. The digital display is presented in a blue background so that you can read it even in the dark.
It comes in an ultra-portable and convenient design -with the mouthpiece jutting out from the top of the squared-shaped tester off to the side.You can also cover the mouthpiece with a protective cover when the device is not in use.
- Uses advanced semiconductor sensor for reliable results
- Small and lightweight design you can easily carry in the palm of your hand
- Replaceable mouthpieces
- Caribbean blue LCD screen for easy reading even in the dark
What’s to like about BACtrack S35
As a portable breathalyzer, the S35 delivers on many fronts: it’s easy to use, fairly accurate, and comes with reliable feedback features that ensure you’re using the device correctly. Many buyers have confirmed that the quality holds up even after years of use. This product is knocking it out of the park as well in terms of portability, owing to its lightweight and “palmable” design..
For everything it does, the S35 is very much affordable. The extra mouthpieces are a welcome bonus as well.
What’s not to like
The S35 received some poor reviews stating that the product didn’t give accurate readings (one didn’t provide a reading above .02). The fact that these accounts run contrary to most of the reviews suggests that these customers might have received defective units. It’s a good thing that the manufacturer offers a one-year warranty, not to mention that they’re great reputation for providing excellent customer service.
While prone to damage if not handled carefully, the S35 is for all intents and purposes an excellent product. If you’re on a tight budget, this one can serve you well. It’s received well, with 52% of customer reivews giving it a rating of at least 4 out of 5.
4. Best Breathalyzer-Portable Alcohol Breath Tester
Using state-of-the-art fuel cell technology, this breathalyzer promises to give accurate results in 30 seconds or less. This product has been approved after rigorous testing and screening by the Department of Transport and NHTSA, leaving no doubt as to its top-grade performance.
Aside from its reliability in professional settings, it’s also perfectly tailored for personal use. The sleek and elegant design is easy on the eyes as well. With this small device always on hand, you will never run the risk of driving over the limit again.
- Professional-grade high precision instrument courtesy of its state-of-the-art fuel cell technology
- Very light (weighs only 4 ounces)
- Approved by DOT, FDA, and NHTSA
- Easy-to-use one button mechanism
- Digital display for each reading
- Comes with 6 replaceable mouthpieces
- Protective carry pouch included
What’s to like about Best Portable Alcohol Breath Tester
This product is the hottest new release in the breathalyzer market and for many good reasons too. For starters, it comes in a sophisticated design that lets you know instantly that you’re using a high-quality professional product. More importantly, its results have been proven to be highly accurate, not to mention consistent. It’s made of robust material so that you won’t have to worry about breaking it all the time unlike most breathalyzers.
Moreover, this product comes with cool accessories that bolster overall user experience. To sweeten the deal, you can buy two units and enjoy a 20% discount in the process as well.
What’s not to like
This product would have been perfect if the controls were more intuitive. It’s not a real problem once you get the hang of it, though.
As a premiere portable breath alcohol tester, this one has all the right boxes ticked. It’s consistent, accurate, and has many other features that improve user experience. This is a recent release so customer reviews are still scarce, but it’s certainly making a killing with a customer review average of 4.8 out of 5.
5. Breathalyzer-Alcohol Level Disposable Tester
The Alcohol Breathalyzer is a disposable breath alcohol tester that detects blood alcohol content anytime and anywhere. Each disposable unit comes in a compact design that’s far easier to carry than many other portable breathalyzers. It brings an immediacy you can’t find in any other tester.
Even better, you can use this disposable tester along with the Breathalyzer iPhone app and/or the Breathalyzer keychain device. Being a disposable product, it’s easy to hand it to friends and relatives who might need it. To top it all off, each tester is incredibly cheap.
- Quick and easy to use
- Accurate and reliable results
- Can be used anywhere and on many occassions
- Can be used with all alcohol test kits
- Digital display’s colors change at 0.00%, 0.04%, and 0.08% BAC thresholds
- Tested and approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration as an Alcohol Screening Device
What’s to like about Breathalyzer Disposable Tester
A lot of buyers has been heaping praises on these little buggers, most especially on how they can be used by multiple users whenever they are needed. One even commented that these testers should be sold in clubs and bars, which makes a lot of sense.
What makes this product even more convenient is that you can hand it to anyone who might need it. These disposable alcohol level testers can really come in handy, literally speaking.
What’s not to like
A few buyers noted that the color displays don’t always match and can be hard to distinguish at times. Digital readings are accurate, though.
If you want alcohol level testing that is immediate and can be used by many users all at once, the Breathalyzer disposable testers certainly won’t disappoint. These are recommended buys if you’re hosting a party that serves liquor since you can easily hand them out to your guests. This product is receiving high praise on the customer review front with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5!
6. BACtrack Trace Portable Breathalyzer
As with all BACtrack Alcohol testers, this one uses the ever-reliable Xtend Fuel Cell Sensor Technology. This one has distinct advantages, though: it comes with continuous temperature checking, user-adjustable warning levels, and an internal mini-solenoid breath pump system – all of which work hand in hand to bolster efficiency and accuracy.
It also has a built-in memory so users can save the last 10 BAC readings for future reference or comparison.
- Xtend Fuel Cell Sensor Technology (same technology used in clinics, hospitals, and law enforcement
- Continuous temp checking
- Adjustable warning levels
- Internal mini-solenoid breath pump system
- One-Touch Mechanism (turn on the unit and begin testing in seconds)
- Built-in Memory (saves last 10 BAC readings for future reference)
What’s to like about BACtrack Trace Breathalyzer
This is one of the best breathalyzers and is brilliant on many fronts. It always brings its A-game as far as accuracy goes. In fact, one buyer put that to the test by comparing the readings alongside a BAC calculator on a website and has come up with similar or just about similar results. The unit can also be relied upon to provide results almost every single time.
Use this 10 minutes after drinking even just 2 pints of beer and you’re certain to get results. Lastly, it’s just the right size: a little smaller than an iPhone, which makes it more than convenient enough to put inside one’s pocket.
What’s not to like
The disposable mouthpiece sticks out like a sore thumb from the unit, which makes the product a little unwieldy to handle.
This breathalyzer is packed to brimming with features that improve accuracy and efficiency. A lot of customers noticed, which is why it’s currently averaging an impressive 4.7 stars in terms of customer reviews.. Highly-recommended.
7. Alcohawk Alcohol Breathalyzer
This breathalyzer uses Check Technology to ensure accurate readings, which are presented at their most precise courtesy of the unit’s four digit display. It’s the same size as a smartphone so that you can easily lug it around with you with little effort. While most models of breathalyzers run only on batteries, Alcohawk Precision Digital Alcohol Breath Tester comes with a DC cord option as well.
The unit comes with 5 mouthpieces, a soft carrying pouch, an owner’s manual, a quick start guide, and a 1-year warranty.
- Provides quick and accurate results
- Uses electronic airflow sensor for thorough testing
- 0.000 – 0.400% BAC testing
- Semiconductor sensor plus 4-digit display for high-precision readings
- Offers 9V battery or DC power cord options
- DOT/NHTSA/FDA approved
What’s to like about Alcohawk Precision Breath Tester
This alcohol breath tester can give you accurate and reliable readings granted that you follow the instruction manual to the letter. It’s compact and lightweight enough to be fitted inside your pants pocket – which is always an advantage with any breathalyzer unit. If you’re on a tight budget, this alcohol breath tester offers a cheap alternative. Moreover, a lot of customers have confirmed that the quality holds up even after years of use.
What’s not to like
Some buyers noted a handful of flaws such as the long recovery time between uses, which usually takes 20 minutes or so. The cheap plastic material suggests that it won’t survive heavy impact so careful handling is always required.
Despite its flaws, this unit offers excellent value considering its cheap price. If you follow the instructions carefully, this device will definitely serve you well. About 66% of customer reviews gave it a rating of 4 and above out of 5.
8. AlcoMate REVO Alcohol Breathalyzer
As a premium BAC tester, the AlcoMate REVO Alcohol Breathalyzer ticks all the right boxes. Using PRISM Fuel Cell Technology, this device boasts accuracy to a high degree. What sets this one another step above most of its competitors is that it doesn’t need to be calibrated every year, which can save you a lot of effort and money. Using it is a breeze, thanks to its One-Button Operation and 4-digit display.
- Uses advanced PRISM Fuel-Cell Technology for precise and accurate readings
- DOT, FDA, and US Coast Guard Approved
- Doesn’t require annual calibration like many other Breathalyzers
- One Button Operation and 4-Digit Display for intuitive use
- Svelte and compact design (same size as an iPhone)
- Comes with FREE Breathalyzer Tester Guide, 2(AAA) Batteries, (5) One-way Flow Mouthpieces, Hard “Clamshell” Carry Case
What’s to like about AlcoMate REVO Breathalyzer
If you finally want to do away with all the hassles involved in having to recalibrate your breathalyzer unit periodically, the AlcoMate REVO Alcohol Breathalyzer is just the thing you need. It works just as well as any other BACtrack model in terms of accuracy and efficiency. It’s portable, easy to use, and incredibly cheap. To top it all off, it comes with neat freebies and accessories that improve user experience.
What’s not to like
Customers only have great things to say about this product. Well, one buyer complained about it being the same size as a flip phone but that’s about it!
This is definitely one of the best breathalyzers that nails it on every front, and it’s made even better by the fact that it doesn’t require periodic calibration. Customers gave this an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 and deservedly so!
9. BACtrack Mobile Smartphone Breathalyzer
Equipped with all the features that made BACtrack Breathalyzers great (most notably its built-in Xtend Fuel Cell Sensor Technology), this one takes it to the next level by incorporating smart technology into its system. While you can blow into the mouthpiece of the Blood-Alcohol Content tester as you normally do with any other similar device, here you can connect the breathalyzer to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, improving efficiency and functionality in the process.
You can wirelessly connect the BACtrack Mobile with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Click “Take a Reading” on your phone and blow into BACtrack Mobile. Going beyond just giving the BAC percentage reading, the app helps in enlightening you on the harmful effects of higher alcohol content and ways to get out of the habit.
- Xtend Fuel Cell Sensor Technology (reads BAC results quickly and accurately)
- Bluetooth Connectivity
- BACtrack Companion app (saves and tracks BAC results, optional photos, notes, and drink logs)
- ZeroLine technology provides time frame on when your BAC will return to 0.00%
- compatible with most iOS and Android devices
- 1- year warranty
What’s to like about BACtrack Smartphone Breathalyzer
As the first smart digital breathalyzer device, the BACtrack Mobile Smartphone Breathalyzer has broken new ground in the alcohol testing industry, bringing us new features and functionalities that can only prove beneficial to users. With all the features BACtrack is known for, this device can hellp keep yourself and your loved-ones safe.
What’s not to like
Some users pointed out that the results were a bit inconsistent at times, which is contradictory to most of the reviews. As can be gleaned from some of the positive reviews, the unit requires a good long consistent breath (around 5-8 seconds) to produce precise results.
If you want to incorporate alcohol testing into your smart digital living, this breathalyzer is all you need. The BAC history feature provided by the app alone is more than worth it. Thanks to this product’s all-around brilliance, 86% of customer reviews gave it at least 4 out of a possible 5.
10. BreathKey Keychain Breathalyzer
Despite its compact size, the BACtrack Keychain Breathalyzer delivers big in terms of providing accurate BAC readings. And a big part of that can be attributed to its state-of-the-art MicroCheck Sensor Technology. With its advanced Breath Capture feature, this device makes sure that it filters out ambient air, thus resulting to more reliable results.
It’s very simple to use: just turn the power on, blow on the mouthpiece, and the results will appear on the LCD display in seconds.
- MicroCheck Sensor Technology provides reliable and accurate BAC results
- Small and lightweight – can fit inside your coat/pants pockets and can be used as a keychain
- Breath Capture function ensures that only your breath goes into the breathalyzer and filters out extraneous air
- One Touch mechanism
- Bright LCD display
What’s to like about BACtrack Keychain Breathalyzer
Among all the best breathalyzer units currently available in the market, this one is probably the most convenient to carry. For starters, it’s also a keychain. You can take it absolutely anywhere and you can get some peace of mind knowing that you always have this on hand. A lot of buyers also agree that it’s accurate, or seemed accurate at least. It’s got BACtrack’s One Touch mechanism so that using it is intuitive and easy.
What’s not to like
It’s not as accurate as the higher-end breathalyzers, but it does its job well enough, at least when you only need to have a rough idea on whether you’re blood alcohol concentration is within the accepted level.. If you’ll be in a position where it’s absolutely critical that you get definitive results, it might be better to go for the premium breathalyzer units.
BACtrack Keychain Breathalyzer’s overall performance might not be up to par with the pricier breathalyzer units but it’s good enough to serve you well in non-critical scenarios. This is the most portable alcohol tester on the market. 67% of customer reviews gave it a rating of at least 4 out of 5, which is just about right.
Choosing from the Best Breathalyzer Reviews
Before you look for the best breathalyzer, you need to consider first the many scenarios you’re going to use it for. Remember, the goal here is to curb drunk-driving and to prevent accidents above all else.
If you want the absolute best, I give the Best Breathalyzer-Portable Alcohol Breath Tester my highest recommendation on account of its high-accuracy and all-around brilliance. If you want something that is cheaper and more portable, the Breathalyzer-Alcohol Level Disposable Tester certainly hits the sweet spot. For those who want something that doesn’t need to be calibrated but can still deliver the goods performance-wise, I give AlcoMate REVO Alcohol Breathalyzer my highest recommendation.