Myths and Facts about Using Breathalyzers


A Breathalyzer is a device for estimating blood alcohol content (BAC) from a breath sample. Law enforcement officers often use breathalyzers to test the level of alcohol concentration in a person’s blood. This is an effective tool to detect people driving under the influence. Using breathalyzers helps people to get instant results of Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) at coherent accuracy rate.

The portable shape and easy to use features of breathalyzers at affordable rates have attracted people to possess one and use in places like law organizations, home, schools, and offices, etc. Ever since the breathalyzers became common domestic assets, people started trying to find tactics to beat the Breathalyzer. Following are some of those myths and facts about breathalyzers.

Myth: Breathalyzers directly measure blood alcohol content or concentration in a person’s blood stream.
Fact: Breathalyzers do not measure the BAC directly from a person’s blood stream. Breathalyzer actually measures the alcohol content in a person’s breath and estimates his BAC at a reasonable accuracy.

Myth: Putting a penny in one’s mouth lowers his BAC reading.
Fact: Many people try this trick to elude from breathalyzers detection. Sucking pennies or any such copper objects does not lower a BAC reading of a Breathalyzer.

Myth: Using breath fresheners or mouthwash lowers a BAC reading.
Fact: Breath fresheners like gums, mints, or sprays only pretense the odor of alcohol. But they do not change the alcohol content present in one’s breath.

Myth: Using a mouthwash before a Breathalyzer test misguides it.
Fact: Using a mouthwash only aggravates the BAC reading. It is due to small amount of alcohol used as an ingredient in the mouthwash. Thus, using a mouthwash misguides a Breathalyzer to raise the BAC reading rather than lowering it.

Myth: Breathalyzers provide 100 percent accurate results.
Fact: Many breathalyzers do not just identify the ethanol present in alcohol beverages, but also some other compounds and substances with similar molecular structure. The breath of an average human contains over one hundred compounds and around 70 to 80 percent of them contain similar molecular structure as that of ethanol. Thus, the BAC reading of a Breathalyzer does not necessarily be true all the times.

Tampering a Breathalyzer result is not as easy. Drinking excess amount of alcohol and trying to deceive a Breathalyzer relying on myths will never help any individual. Thus, it is good to avoid alcohol consumption, at least in critical situations like before driving, rather than following myths to beat breathalyzers.

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