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Breathalyzer & Drug Testing Specialists

Breathalyzer Facts

Is it legal to use a breathalyser ?

Yes of course. It should however, only be used as a general guide to the level of alcohol in your body and not relied on to ensure you remain below the legal limit.


What are the limits ?

This can cause lots of confusion because there are different methods of measuring the alcohol in a breath sample.

In the UK the current limit is:

0.35mg/l = 0.08%BAC = 0.80 mg/ml (Promille) = 0.8g/l

In many parts of Europe (including Scotland from December 2014), the limit is

0.22mg/l = 0.05%BAC = 0.50 mg/ml = 0.50 g/l

50mg/100ml BLOOD

There are also different limits depending on whether you are measuring breath alcohol, blood alcohol or urine alcohol.Please do not confuse these measurements with weights - this is volume The legal limit for alcohol levels in the body whilst driving a vehicle in the UK (except Scotland) are currently:

35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millitres of breath = 0.35mg/l BrAC

80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100ml of blood

107 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millitres of urine
0.08% BAC (Blood Alcohol Content).

These limits are scientifically based: They  are set at a level where, for most drivers, the chance of an accident involvement rises sharply.



I'm very confused by all these numbers

We agree that it is very confusing. All of our breathalyzers are calibrated in mg/litre. All you need remember, is that the UK driving limit on our AL2500/5000/6000/7000 series breathalyzers will display as 0.35 (mg/l). On the AlcoSafe KX6000S it will show as 0.08% but you also have the easy traffic light system to give you a RED/AMBER/GREEN light in addition to the digital readout.

Above these figure you are illegal, below you are legal. Beware - the reading is only a guide and must not be relied on. If in doubt do not drive ! On the Alcovisor Mk X, BAC100 and Drager units, it will display as 35(microgrammes). Easy !



What happens if I am convicted ?

Driving/Attempting to Drive with excess alcohol (DR10)
Penalty - Fine - up to Level 5 (£5,000) and/or up to 6 months imprisonment
Mandatory disqualification for at least 12 months for first offence
Mandatory disqualification for at least 3 years for second offence within 10 years.


Being in charge of a motor vehicle with excess alcohol (DR40)
Penalty - Fine - up to Level 4 (£2,500) and/or up to 3 months imprisonment
10 penalty points on your license
Disqualification is at the discretion of the Court


After Driving/Attempting to drive refusing to provide samples for analysis (DR30)
Penalty - Fine - up to Level 5 (£5,000) and/or 6 months imprisonment
Mandatory disqualification for at least 12 months for first offence (18 months  tends to be the norm as you are considered to have been trying to avoid being found guilty)
Mandatory disqualification for at least 3 years for second offence within 10 years


Are these Breathalyzers accurate ?

The entry level AL2500 breathalyzer is more of a leisure/fun unit and as such its accuracy is reflected in the price, it will give a good general guideline to your Breath Alcohol Content but will never be as accurate as the more expensive models. In general terms, the more expensive the unit, the higher the accuracy. The DA5000, AL6000/7000 all carry FDA (Food & Drug Administration) and CE (European Certificate) approval. The Draeger 6510 carries UK Home Office approval. This means that they have been specifically tested in a controlled environment. It must be remembered however, that the AL2500/5000/6000/7000 are not of a high enough accuracy to be endorsed by The UK Home Office and are not in use with UK Police Forces. Some overseas Police Forces use the AL6000 series for initial screening. The Draeger 6510 is a Home Office approved unit and in use with numerous Police Forces around the UK. The Alcovisor Mk X and BAC 100 offer Police grade accuracy but do not carry UK Home Office approval at present. Basically because the manufacturers have concentrated on other parts of the world - not because of lack of accuracy. The BAC 100 is in use with worldwide Police Forces - including USA, Russia, Poland, Estonia, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, India and Thailand.


Limits and conviction guides change from time to time. Please check current legislation.  



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