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AlcoDigital Limited have been helping individual, corporate and governmental organisations find the right solution to their Alcohol and Drug testing needs for over 12 years, during which time we've supplied over 200,000 breathalysers and drug testing kits.  Whether it's a simple disposable kit for driving in France, one of our wide range of Digital Breathalyzers or a full Drug & Alcohol testing system like the Lab-in-a-bag - we will have a solution to suit you

We don't just sell the equipment.  We have calibration and servicing expertise covering a wider range of devices than anyone else in the UK.  We are Draeger Main Dealers, Sole UK Importers for Q3i & Contralco and offer range of own-brand devices from the award-winning AlcoDigital 3000 Breathalyser to the Drivealyzer Interlock and AlcoSafe breathalyser-controlled keysafe.   We also offer approved training courses for Substance Abuse Diagnostic operators.

Customer service is our ultimate priority, and we are very proud of the fact that over 20% of our business comes from personal recommendations and returning customers.   Below are a sample of just a few of our corporate customers; to view some or our recent comments, click here.

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Breathalyzers - the most commonly asked questions!

We are often asked similar questions about  a breathalyzer - how they work, what the differences are, what the different displays mean etc - so we've gathered together some of the more typical phone enquires which you may find useful in deciding which device is the best one for you!

A Personal  breathalyzer vs Police breathalyzer
A Police Breathalyzer always uses a fuel cell sensor but "consumer" or "personal" breathalyzers often use far cheaper semi-conductor sensors which estimate the concentration of the alcohol test based upon one or two pre-calibrated points. At these points a breathalyzer test may be quite accurate, but at other values the drift can be quite dramatic - anything up to 30-35% variance on sub-£60 models is not unusual in practical use. It is a case of get-what-you-pay-for, as while a personal breathalyzer maybe around £60 - £100, a typical Police Breathalyzer costs upwards of £800. 
(See Personal Breathalyzer vs Pro Breathalyzer)

How does a breathalyzer work?
When you drink, alcohol is digested and passes through the stomach into the blood stream.  From there it passes through the alveoli into the lungs, and it is this that a breathalyzer test for alcohol is designed to measure. Alcohol testing concentrations are often very low and the breathalyzer sensor has to be very sensitive to detect the levels involved - hence why it is so important that a consistent sample of air is so important and why a breathalyzer such as the "AlcoSense One" that does not use a tube (to ensure a minimum 1.5ltr sample size) can never give an accurate breathalyzer test result.

Breathalyzer sampling methods
A Professional, police-grade breathalyzer such as the UK-Approved Draeger 6510 breathalyzer  measure an exact volume of air each time the breathalyzer is used. A Personal breathalyzer often just provides the user with two beeps, a fixed time apart (on more expensive models with a pressure sensor to ensure a minimum "blow" level) but the actual breathalyzer sample size to test for alcohol can vary considerably from person to person. If the breathalyzer is only being used to test yourself, you are likely to get consistent results but a breathalyzer of this type should never be used for testing someone else. (See "Using a breathalyzer on someone else")

Breathalyzer calibration
Any breathalyzer can only remain accurate for so long before it needs to be calibrated against a known concentration level. Each method requires specialized breathalyzer calibration equipment and trained breathalyzer technicians; it is not a procedure that can be conducted by untrained users or without the proper equipment. There is no such thing as a "self calibrating" breathalyzer - and a breathalyzer that uses a replaceable sensor may seem to be a good answer, but as the sensor is not tested in the breathalyzer itself there may be numerous other factors that would influence the breathalyzer result. It's a bit like servicing a car just by replacing the engine - just because the engine works, it doesn't meant the whole car will perform as it should! Visit  breathalyzer calibration

UK Alcohol Limits for a Breathalyzer

  • 35 micrograms - as used by a professional breathalyzer such as the Draeger 6510
  • 80 mg/100ml (promile)
  • 0.35 mg/l - as used in the French NF Approved ACS DriveSafe
  • 0.08% BAC - used by the majority of "consumer" breathalyzers

Popular breathalyzer myths
A 2003 episode of MythBusters tested a number of methods that supposedly allow a person to fool a professional breathalyzer test. These included mints, onions, denture cream, mouthwash, pennies and batteries; all  proved ineffective when tested against a Police Breathalyzer however certain other substances may well affect a semi-conductor based personal breathalyzer.  (See our breathalyzer FAQ's for more details)

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