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What You Should Know About Breathalyzers September 25, 2020

Cleveland, Bradley
What You Should Know About Breathalyzers, Cleveland, Tennessee

Breathalyzers are alcohol monitoring devices that can estimate blood alcohol content from a breath sample. These monitors, which help protect drivers and pedestrians from impaired drivers, are often used by police. However, they can also be used by behavioral health centers, residential entry programs, and individuals. If you have questions relating to these devices' use and accuracy, the following offers a guide based on commonly asked questions.

4 FAQ About Breathalyzers

How do breathalyzers work?

When consumed, alcohol almost immediately goes into a person's bloodstream. Their liver rapidly begins filtering alcohol from the body, including through the lungs.

Breathalyzers require users to expel a deep breath into the device, allowing their alcohol exhaust to be measured. The device uses a semiconductor oxide sensor, a fuel cell sensor, or a spectrophotometer to measure the user's blood alcohol level. 

How accurate are they?

breathalyzerIf the device has Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, it has been tested and found to accurately present results when used as described in the product's operating manual. All breath tests have a slight margin of error, so tests are usually performed at least twice to verify accuracy.

Can results be used in legal proceedings?

Handheld breathalyzer units are considered to be screening tools only, and their results are non-evidential in court proceedings. If a handheld breathalyzer indicates impairment under the law, a separate test using a different and larger device is issued. 

Can the same breathalyzer be used on multiple people?

Yes. All units come with replaceable mouthpieces. It is recommended that each new person is provided with an unused mouthpiece for sanitary and safety reasons. Most devices also feature a purge cycle that clears the sample chamber between uses.


As a leading supplier of portable breath alcohol devices, Tennessee Recovery & Monitoring in Cleveland can help you obtain the equipment you need to undergo rehabilitation through personal accountability and sobriety. Their Scram® remote breathalyzer units use advanced law enforcement technology for face recognition, GPS locating, and reminders and notifications. Call (855) 472-7269, or visit them online to learn more about their services.

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