Getting caught for drink driving is a nightmare that no motorist wants to go through, but thousands end up with a conviction and large fine for it every day. If that isn’t bad enough, the consequences of having an accident while drunk can be much worse. It may even cost the life of the motorist or an innocent person. This nightmare need not happen and can be easily avoided by using a breathalyzer. Portable models have been used successfully for years, and there is a new type available that is even smaller and lighter. The keychain breathalyzer is very convenient for a night out, but it lacks the accuracy of other models and needs to be used carefully.
Drink driving is a serious crime that puts the lives of innocent people at risk, not to mention the life of the motorist. A conviction can destroy a person’s career, wreak their marriage, and cost them a fortune in legal bills. It might even send them to jail. Still, many people risk being caught by random breath testing every day because by assuming that they are just under the limit, or that they will never be caught. There are breathalyzer machines in most restaurants, bars, and clubs, but there are many other places when people like to party that do not have one. Having a keychain breathalyzer in these situations can help you avoid the risk of being caught for drink driving.
A breathalyzer is not a very accurate device because it only estimates the blood alcohol content (BAC) from the breath. If the reading is right on the limit, a blood test is required to get a more accurate result. Of course, the alcohol in the blood is constantly being reduced by the liver and kidneys so the blood test needs to be done straight away. There are two types of breathalyzer currently on the market. Nearly every keychain breathalyzer uses a semiconductor sensor which is not very accurate, but a few of the more expensive models use a fuel cell sensor which gives a better result.
A keychain breathalyzer looks like an oversized key fob, like the ones used to open the doors of a motor vehicle. There is an opening at one end that you breath into, and three LED lights on the top that show the result. Typically, a green light means you are well under the limit, yellow means you are very close to the limit, and red means you are well over the limit. It is important to know what the limits are as they are not the same in every country. Some models have a small LCD display that shows a numerical value for the result. All models use batteries which needs to be changed every year or so.
Before buying a keychain breathalyzer, check if it has been approved for use by the health authorities. In the United States, breathalyzers must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they are sold in the stores. Even the cheap models comes with a few extra features besides the breathalyzer. They may have a clock and stop watch which comes in handy for keeping an eye on your parking time. Some models have an LED flashlight that is as bright as a regular torch. All these features use battery power and shorten the battery life the more you use them.
A keychain breathalyzer can be bought for less than twenty dollars, but you would be better off spending a bit more money to get a portable breathalyzer with greater accuracy. Anyone who buys a keychain breathalyzer thinking that it will keep them out of trouble is fooling themselves. By using colored lights instead of showing a numerical result, they tend to create a false sense of security. You do not actually know how close to the limit you really are. The penalties for drink driving are too severe to take a chance on something that was designed to be cheap rather than accurate.