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Self-Test for Breath Alcohol

Posted Jan 07 2009 3:17pm
by Ed Philips

An estimate of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is determined with a breath alcohol test. This test measures the amount of alcohol in the air stream that you breathe out (exhale). A simple hand held device is available enabling you to measure breath alcohol level on yourself. The device can provide a correct estimate of your blood alcohol level if calibrated and used in accordance to the manufacturer’s instructions. This home machine is similar to, though not as exact as, the type of test used by police for suspected drunk drivers.

Your blood alcohol concentration starts to rise within minutes of drinking alcohol. Alcohol is absorbed directly through the walls of the stomach and then travels into the bloodstream, and moves throughout your body to your brain. This quick absorption allows blood alcohol levels to increase rapidly.

The amount of alcohol in your blood reaches its highest level about 60 minutes after drinking. However, food in your stomach may increase the amount of time it takes for the blood alcohol to reach its highest level. Most of the alcohol is broken down in the liver. The rest of it is passed out of your body in urine and your exhaled breath. You can buy breath alcohol devices to measure your breath alcohol concentration at many pharmacies or through the Internet.

The manual appliance is a glass tube (or a balloon and a glass tube) that contains color changing crystals activated when exposed to alcohol from your breath. This device is easier and less expensive than electronic meters.

The electronic meter displays the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage in a digital display window after the glass mouthpiece attached to the meter is used. This type of meter is more expensive than the manual type.

More and more restaurants and bars are offering the use of one of these two breath test methods at no charge for customers. These devices are also instrumental in alcohol rehabilitation facilities and hospitals.

The purpose of the breath alcohol self-test is to estimate your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The results are an important factor in deciding whether it is safe to drive. It is important to note that this estimate of blood alcohol is not intended to represent your actual driving abilities. Your driving may be impaired even with a low BAC level, such as below 0.05.

The breath alcohol test offers only one piece of information to help you make a safe decision about drinking and driving. The safest decision is always to not drive if you have been drinking.

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is regularly used by police to determine whether a person is legally impaired and therefore should not be behind the wheel of a vehicle. A blood alcohol concentration in the range of 0.05 to 0.10 is considered legally impaired throughout most of the United States. However, legal BAC levels vary from state to state.

Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) can be deadly. Alcohol is involved in nearly half of all fatal highway accidents. Even mild intoxication can impair your ability to drive safely. At 0.06 BAC, your judgment and physical coordination are impaired. At a BAC of 0.08, your muscle coordination and driving ability are significantly impaired.

Having any amount of alcohol in your blood can mean that judgment and reflexes will be impaired. You can purchase breath alcohol tests on the Internet, either directly from the manufacturer or from a company that sells this kind of product. To find a vendor simply do an internet search for the type of test or the name of the manufacturer.

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