Promoting safety with Breath Alcohol Testing: A Comprehensive Overview

Photo by BENCE BOROS on Unsplash

Alcohol is often part of social events, whether it's hanging out with friends or celebrating special occasions. While these times can be fun, it's important to be responsible for yourself and others when it comes to drinking. One handy way to encourage responsible drinking is by using breath analysis devices that checks your alcohol levels.

Understanding Breath Alcohol Testing

Various ways can be used to measure alcohol levels in the body, such as through urine, blood, and breath analysis. Unlike blood alcohol concentration, which uses per mille (‰) as a unit, breath alcohol concentration is measured in milligrams per liter of breathing air (MG/L).

After drinking alcohol, the substance gets into the bloodstream through the stomach lining. Some of this alcohol moves from the blood to the lungs and is then breathed out. By measuring the alcohol content in exhaled air, we can understand one's blood alcohol level.

How Breath Alcohol Tests Works

Wearable or diagnostic devices equipped with special electrochemical sensors can detect alcohol molecules in exhaled air. Users simply blow into the device's mouthpiece, allowing the device to analyze the alcohol content in the exhaled air. For optimal accuracy, it is recommended to exhale into the device for at least five seconds, ensuring that the air passed through the lungs is measured.

Importance of Alcohol Measuring Devices

Relying on the quantity of drinks consumed is an unreliable measure of intoxication due to variations in physiology, body weight, gender, body fat percentage, and alcohol tolerance. In situations where individuals may not realize the impact of alcohol on their behavior, employing a breath alcohol test becomes crucial. 

This is especially important in preventing accidents, particularly those involving drunk individuals behind the wheel. Many countries have set limit values for permitted alcohol content in breath or blood for road traffic. Breath alcohol test devices offer a practical solution to minimize the risks associated with drunk driving.

Ensuring Accuracy in Breath Alcohol Testing

Accuracy in breath alcohol tests varies among manufacturers and brands. Factors such as temperature, general health, and other compounds in exhaled air may influence test results. Proper usage and consistent exhaled air volume also playan important role in obtaining reliable measurements.

Why use an alcohol measuring Device

Measuring intoxication solely based on the amount of alcohol consumed is an unreliable method. The impact of alcohol varies significantly due to differences in physiology, body weight, gender, body fat percentage, and individual alcohol tolerance. 

People often underestimate how quickly alcohol affects their behavior when they're enjoying a drink. This lack of awareness can make it challenging to assess the negative impact on reaction time and the ability to perform simple tasks.

The situation turns dangerous when individuals, who may overestimate their capabilities, decide to drive under the influence of alcohol. Sadly, this has led to numerous car accidents worldwide, some of which have been fatal. To address this, many countries have established specific legal limits regulating permissible alcohol levels in breath or blood for road traffic.

To reduce tragic accidents, using breath alcohol test devices can be effective. Ideally, individuals under the influence of alcohol should avoid driving altogether. However, if judgment is impaired or someone wants to verify the impact of "just a glass of wine," a quick and simple breath test can provide clarity or serve as an educational tool. These convenient wearables, easy to carry in almost any bag, provide results in just a few seconds, helping individuals decide whether it's safe to drive or if they should hand over the car keys.

Innovation of VitaScale: measure breath alcohol concentration without a handheld at the wheel

To improve security for everyone involved in road traffic regarding alcohol abuse is very important to many people and companies. There are already further thought solutions in which, for example, the alcohol measuring device is linked to the car: the driver has to blow in the device before they wants to drive off, and the ignition lock is only solved if the breath alcohol concentration is below the permitted limit.

Unfortunately, devices like "alcolcocks," “autolocks”, or alcohol removal wires haven't gained popularity, possibly due to high costs and hygiene concerns. This is where VitaScale's contactless system comes in. Placing sensors in the steering wheel eliminates hygiene issues, as there's no need to blow into or touch anything. The measurement happens automatically when the driver gets into the seat and intends to start the car.

In the ongoing development of this system, it will be possible to measure breath alcohol levels while driving. If a signal indicates alcohol consumption during driving, it can alert the driver even before reaching the legal limit. If the driver continues to drive at high speeds without stopping, additional measures, such as prompting the driver to pull over or exit traffic, can be implemented.

The intelligent sensors and algorithms are not only capable of measuring breath alcohol levels but can also identify, based on exhaled air, whether the driver is in a healthy condition or experiencing a critical state like ketosis. This information is crucial for drivers, particularly those with diabetes, as hypoglycemia can significantly impair cognitive abilities. VitaScale's new "Alcolock" represents a substantial innovation for enhancing safety in road traffic.

Caution is better than forbearing: this is how you drink responsibly

To ensure the safety of yourself and others, it's advisable to handle the consumption of alcohol responsibly. It's best to completely abstain from alcohol when driving, during pregnancy, and at the workplace.

Consuming alcoholic drinks and food can lead to unpredictable side effects, especially when dealing with certain diseases, medications, or other drugs. To safeguard your health, the simple rule is: the less alcohol you consume, the better for you.

If you do choose to have a drink, be mindful of your surroundings and drink plenty of water between alcoholic beverages. It's best to avoid alcohol on an empty stomach and to consume it in safe environment.

Alcohol in the breath: Your breathing air reveals a lot about you

A breath alcohol test device allows for easy and quick measurement of a person's alcohol levels. These devices are especially valuable for personal use, providing a quick assessment of fitness for driving when uncertainties arise. For public safety on the roads, test systems directly connected to vehicles are a promising option. Future innovations, like VitaScale's contactless system, are likely to garner attention in the automotive industry.

Author: Lisa Schräder

Translation: Bruna Rocha


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