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What you need to know about breathalyzer calibration

Breathalyzer calibration

Just like a guitar requires regular tuning or a clock needs to be reset, a breathalyzer device requires calibration to ensure accuracy. Like many devices we use daily, breathalyzers will gradually begin displaying inaccurate results if not properly maintained on a regular basis.

The difference is that instead of playing a song out of tune or arriving 5 minutes late for work, an inaccurate breathalyzer can have a significant impact on your safety and the safety of others. Additionally, delaying calibration can cause permanent damage to the breathalyzer sensor, costing you more money in the long term if your device needs replacing rather than just calibrating.

To avoid the uncertainty of an inaccurate breathalyzer result and potential added costs, it is essential to have your breathalyzer calibrated at least once per year or as often as recommended by the manufacturer.

What is breathalyzer calibration?

Breathalyzer calibration is the process of checking and adjusting the sensor within your breathalyzer to ensure it displays an accurate reading.

There are 3 different types of sensors used in breathalyzer devices: Semiconductors, electrochemical and infrared.

No matter what kind of breathalyzer device you use, it needs to be calibrated on a regular basis.

How is calibration done?

There are different breathalyzer calibration methods depending on the type of sensor within the breathalyzer device. Semiconductors and electrochemical sensors can be calibrated using a breath alcohol simulator or compressed gas standard. Infrared sensors can be calibrated using gas calibration.

A breath alcohol simulator uses an alcohol reference solution to mimic a person providing a breath sample. An alcohol reference solution is a liquid with a known alcohol content level. The breath alcohol simulator connects to the breathalyzer and provides a sample. If the breathalyzer results indicate an incorrect breath alcohol concentration, the device is reset to the accurate reading.

Compressed Gas Standard requires a gas tank filled with oxygen and ethanol. The gas tank connects to the breathalyzer device and mimics a breath test. If the breathalyzer results do not correspond to the known alcohol level indicated on the gas tank, the breathalyzer is adjusted to the correct level.

No matter which calibration method is used, a trained laboratory technician must perform the calibration process.

Why should you choose Alcohol Countermeasure Systems to perform your breathalyzer calibration?

With 40 years of experience producing and maintaining breathalyzer products, we know how to keep your device working to its greatest potential. When your breathalyzer requires calibration, simply send it to ACS and we’ll calibrate it and ensure that all components are in optimal condition.

Alternatively, you can enroll in the ACS Product Protection Plan which includes 4 breathalyzer calibrations per year as well as many other services which ensure your device is perfectly maintained and kept in great working condition.

With our experience and expertise creating industry-leading breath alcohol testing technology, there’s no better way to ensure that your breathalyzer is working accurately and in optimal condition.