How to Use Breathalyzer the Right Way

 



While our breathalyzers are easy to use, mistakes can happen if one does not follow the manual correctly.

 

 

Remember the Obligatory Waiting Period


 

Generally, before taking a test you should wait at least 15 minutes after drinking alcohol. Eating a meal with alcoholic ingredients or smoking a cigarette also has impact on the measured value!
Without this delay, the residual alcohol inside your mouth will make the value higher than it should be. The given number will hence not reflect your actual BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration).
To ensure accurate results, remember to give the device at least one minute for recovery before taking another test. This will also expand the lifespan of your device.
Not calibrating your breathalyzer at least once a year will also lead to inaccurate results.
 

 

Breathe into the Mouthpiece the Right Way


 

Blowing into the mouthpiece too shortly or with a too low breath volume will result in a failed test (usually the devices will recognize this).
Try to breathe into the device with medium strength, as if you were whistling. After around one second, the breathalyzer will detect the airflow and start beeping. Do not stop blowing into the mouthpiece at this point. Bear in mind that the device finishes the test, not the user!
Measuring your BAC should take around four seconds. After that timespan, you should hear and feel a clicking noise caused by the internal pump telling you that the test is finished.

Additionally, the measured value is dependent on a number of various factors, including:
 

Mental and Physical Condition


MTiredness will make the alcohol enter your blood slightly faster. Additionally, people in a weakened condition will feel the impact of alcohol stronger.
How your body deals with alcohol is strongly tied to various individual preconditions.
The body fat percentage, weight and gender of a person also play an important role: For example, women can usually stand less alcohol since they have less muscular tissue and more adipose tissue..
 

Stomach Contents


Almost everybody knows the idea that eating a large meal before consuming alcohol slows down the process of getting drunk. This is actually true, since the body needs time to break down and burn the food before the alcohol can enter the blood.
Drinking non-alcoholic beverages (e.g. water) during the alcohol consumption will help your body reducing your BAC much faster..
 
 

Gender: Another Influence?


People who rarely drink alcohol will need longer to break it down.
Drinking a high amount of alcoholic beverages within a small time will cause your BAC to rise much faster and also results in a higher per mille value.
 

Carbon Dioxide


Carbon dioxide blows the stomach up, which makes the body try to get rid of it by passing it on. In the case of alcohol consumption, this immediate redirection makes the high percentage alcoholic ingredients enter the bloodstream much faster.
Everybody who tried Champagne, sparkling wine and similar fizzy drinks knows the consequence: Carbon dioxide makes you feel tipsy much faster.
 
 

Drinking Under Stress


In stress situations the human body produces a bigger amount of hormones. These are responsible for boosting the individual metabolism, hence they cause the alcohol to enter the bloodstream faster.
Additionally, drinking during stressful situations may make people drink more and react differently than they usually would.
 

The Elderly: More Experienced and More Resistant Against Alcohol?


Since the liver and the stomach shrink as time passes, the human body breaks down alcohol slower at an advanced age. Nevertheless, many claim that the body gets used to regular alcohol consumption and therefore causes the drunkenness to disappear faster.
 
 

Impacts on Your Brain and Mind


With drunkenness comes a higher potential risk of hurting yourself or others.[5] This is caused by a specific acid which reduces the communication between the cells and the brain. Additionally, the neurotransmitters inside the brain get impaired after the consumption of alcohol, making them less able to perform their functions the more you drink. This causes disturbances in your sense of balance, language faculty, speed of reaction and power of judgement – all these bodily functions subside rapidly after consuming alcohol.
 

How Can You Dissolve Alcohol the Fastest?


There is no definite answer for this question and neither is there a wonder drug. Essentially, the most effective way still is giving your body the time it needs to sober up.
However, this process is dependent on a person’s individual physique, gender and various other factors. Generally speaking, the human body breaks down an average of 0,1 up to 0,2 per mille every hour. A particularly dangerous myth is that the effect of coffee on your metabolism will make you sober up faster. Not only is this false, the wakeness induced by caffeine makes people think that they are already sober and thus able to drive when they are actually still impaired by the effect of alcohol.
 

Sources and further information:
Student Well-Being McDonald Center, University of Notre Dame: [Alcohol] Absorption Rate Factors
The Telegraph: Fizz in bubbly will get you drunk faster by David Derbyshire, Science Correspondent
LiveScience: Stress Changes Alcohol’s Effects on You by Luke Yoquinto
The Telegraph: What alcohol does to your body after the age of 40 by Anna Magee
WHO: Alcohol Fact Sheet
Mythbusters: Can drinking coffee help a person sober up?
Student Well-Being McDonald Center, University of Notre Dame: [Alcohol] Absorption Rate Factors
National Health Service: Alcohol myth Buster