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Best Breathalyzers for 2024

Updated January 2024
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
BACtrack S80 Professional Breathalyzer
BACtrack
S80 Professional Breathalyzer
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Best overall
Bottom Line

Get professional-grade accuracy with this convenient breathalyzer that offers a sleek design and is fit for both personal and professional use.

Pros

Easy and safe to use. Shows accurate results every time. Equipped with single-button operation and LCD display. Precise and consistent for long-term durability. The portable design delivers added convenience. Comes with advanced user controls.

Cons

Best Bang for the Buck
GREENWON Portable Breathalyzer
GREENWON
Portable Breathalyzer
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Best bang for the buck
Bottom Line

More affordable than most, this quality device offers seamless performance, a high-grade mechanism and quick results.

Pros

Ergonomic design for added convenience. Easy to use and comes with advanced features. Equipped with a semiconductor sensor for professional-grade accuracy. Has energy-saving and auto-off modes. Features a large LCD screen. Ideal for tracking BAC levels at home.

Cons

BACtrack C8 Breathalyzer
BACtrack
C8 Breathalyzer
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Easiest to use
Bottom Line

This pocket-sized breathalyzer uses police-grade tech to give you accurate BAC readings. Plus, its unique ZeroLine feature gives an estimate of when you'll be sober.

Pros

The breathalyzer is portable, easy to use, and conveniently links up to your smartphone for tracking metrics. It only needs a single AAA battery to work, unlike most others that require at least two.

Cons

iSOBER 30 Breathalyzer
iSOBER
30 Breathalyzer
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Best for its reliability and portability
Bottom Line

This popular breathalyzer delivers easy-to-read results you can trust.

Pros

A practical device with a high-grade mechanism and accurate results. The small size makes it easily portable. Simple and easy-to-understand features. A great tool in terms of both reliability and durability. Has calibration interval of 12 months.

Cons

BACtrack C6 Keychain Breathalyzer
BACtrack
C6 Keychain Breathalyzer
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Best keychain breathalyzer
Bottom Line

One of the most convenient options in terms of size and durability, and it’s designed to detect any trace of alcohol.

Pros

Comes in a tiny size for added portability. Works in two modes and is easy to use. Displays accurate results. A consistent and innovative approach to keep track of BAC. Optional wireless connectivity with standalone mode.

Cons

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

30
Models
Considered
175
Consumers
Consulted
30
Hours
Researched
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Buying guide for best breathalyzers

There’s nothing wrong with consuming alcoholic beverages, but it’s in everyone’s best interest to always be a responsible drinker and for each individual to recognize their limits. However, if you find yourself having a few more drinks than you usually might, your ability to make good decisions, as well as your motor skills, can be impaired.

That’s where a professional-grade breathalyzer comes in handy, as using one can give you insight into your blood alcohol content. Whether you have just a glass of wine or several drinks, there's a high likelihood your true BAC will surprise you. The best breathalyzer for you should provide an accurate reading, be easy to operate and have a compact build that makes it suitable to keep in your car or pocket. If you want to have one with you at all times, you can even go for a keychain breathalyzer.

5 best breathalyzers for personal use in 2024

BACtrack S80 Breathalyzer

Best overall

Product specifications

Alcohol Sensor Type: Fuel cell sensor | Dimensions: 2" W x 0.75" D x 4.75" H | Weight: 4.8 oz

The BACtrack S80 is a top-tier breathalyzer, delivering reliable blood alcohol content results with police-grade accuracy for personal and professional use. It’s suitable for treatment and rehabilitation centers, and its portable design also makes it ideal for those who want to test their blood alcohol content when consuming alcohol to make better decisions or prevent others from driving while under the influence.

It’s powered by an advanced sensor and runs on two AA batteries, which are included. It’s easy to use thanks to a one-touch button operation where all you need to do is press it for 10 seconds while it prepares to run a test. Blow for five seconds, and when you hear the click, the breathalyzer has received a proper breath sample.

Although it’s a pricey unit, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more accurate professional-grade breathalyzer. It provides accurate readings, is easy to use with a bright LED screen, has long-lasting battery life and includes six mouthpiece replacements. Plus, it comes with a one-year warranty.

Greenwon Portable Keychain Breathalyzer

Best bang for the buck

Product specifications

Alcohol Sensor Type: Semiconductor alcohol sensor | Dimensions: 2.76" W x 1.11" D x 4.65" H | Weight: 2.39 oz

Don’t be thrown off by the Greenwon Portable Breathalyzer’s low price. It’s one of the best personal breathalyzers you can get for under $50 and delivers reliable results. Like some of the other top breathalyzers, it has a warm-up time of 10 seconds and provides BAC readings in five seconds. It has a temperature range of 40 to 100 degrees as well as a digital display, and it delivers audible alerts when readings are ready.

A “blow” sign appears on the display once the unit has warmed up, and blowing with medium force for three to five seconds is enough to get an accurate reading. A caution flag appears if the BAC reading is 0.02% to 0.05%, and a danger sign is displayed if the BAC reading exceeds 0.05%. It’s powered by two AA batteries and has an auto-off function, helping preserve battery life when it’s not in use.

While not reaching the professional-grade accuracy of some high-end breathalyzers, semiconductor sensors offer a reliable and affordable option for personal use. This particular model boasts excellent long-term reliability and a one-year warranty, making it a smart choice for recreational settings where you want peace of mind without breaking the bank. If you or a loved one enjoys alcoholic beverages and you need an affordable but reliable option, the Greenwon delivers accurate BAC results and will help discourage drunk driving.

BACtrack C8 Keychain Breathalyzer

Easiest to use

Product specifications

Alcohol Sensor Type: Fuel cell sensor | Dimensions: 2.5" L x 0.66" W x 2.2" H | Weight: 2.01 oz

The best personal breathalyzers all have one thing in common: accurate BAC readings. However, we want to point out that the BACtrack C8 breathalyzer boasts an innovative ZeroLine technology that estimates the time until your BAC reading is 0.00% and the platinum fuel cell technology that consistently delivers precise results.

The BACtrack breathalyzer offers wireless connectivity to the BACtrack smartphone app, where you can guess your BAC to compare it to the actual reading, save previous tests and call an Uber ride. It has a professional-grade sensor, making it perfect for personal and professional use.

It’s a top portable alcohol tester with an advanced sensor for measuring alcohol level, and it runs on a single AAA battery, unlike others that require two. A tiny breathalyzer compared to most, it’s lightweight, and its app compatibility makes it one of the best breathalyzers for anyone who wants to keep track of their drinking habits over time.

iSober 30 Breathalyzer

Best for its reliability and portability

Product specifications

Alcohol Sensor Type: Fuel cell sensor Dimensions: 1.73" W x 0.59" D x 3.94" H | Weight: 2.32 oz

The iSober 30’s sleek build and advanced sensor make it one of the best breathalyzers for any setting, whether it’s a treatment center or if you’ve been drinking and want to determine your BAC to make smart decisions. It boasts a high-grade sensor mechanism and a large, red digital display.

It passed all 33 test requirements related to breath alcohol analyzers for general public use during 12 months of calibration, meaning you’ll consistently get police-grade accuracy. It runs on two AAA batteries and provides recall data showing the last 10 results with elapsed time and three testing counts.

Although it doesn’t boast some of the advanced features you’ll get with other top breathalyzers, this unit has been approved by an accredited laboratory and used alongside police enforcement breathalyzers for testing multiple people and is a great choice for delivering long-term reliability.

BACtrack C6 Keychain Breathalyzer

Best keychain breathalyzer

Product specifications

Alcohol Sensor Type: Fuel cell sensor | Dimensions: 2.21” L x 0.66” W x 1.88” H | Weight: 2.01 oz

This BACtrack keychain breathalyzer is essentially an older version of the C8 keychain breathalyzer, but it’s still one of the best breathalyzers for personal use as it delivers consistent results. Like the C8, it boasts BACtrack’s patented sensor and ZeroLine technology that lets you know how long it’ll take to sober up.

Standalone mode means you can get readings right on the C6, but much like the C8 keychain breathalyzer, you can pair this unit with your smartphone and sync it to the BACtrack app to keep track of readings. It comes with a one-year warranty and runs on a single AAA battery.

If you have your eye on the BACtrack C8 keychain breathalyzer but aren’t keen on its cost, this BACtrack keychain breathalyzer is an acceptable alternative keychain breathalyzer. It offers comparable accuracy on readings, and the only noticeable difference in aesthetics is that the C6 has a rectangular design while the C8 is squared and slightly more compact.

Things to consider when choosing a breathalyzer

Understanding the various types of breathalyzers

Fuel cell sensor units

These units typically cost more than other breathalyzers but provide the most accurate readings and require occasional recalibration. A fuel cell sensor provides precise results over the complete range of alcohol concentrations expected.

Semiconductor oxide sensor units

A breathalyzer with a semiconductor oxide sensor is considered a basic unit. These devices are small and may even fit on a keychain, but they typically aren’t as accurate as fuel cell units and may need recalibration more often than other designs.

Disposable units

You may have seen these cheap breathalyzers in liquor stores. They’re designed for one-time use and then must be thrown away. These units indicate whether someone has been drinking alcohol, but their accuracy is not dependable.

Considering designs and use cases for your needs

Active breathalyzers

To use an active breathalyzer, you must exhale into a plastic mouthpiece. The unit measures the concentration of alcohol in your breath. You must ensure no outside air contamination occurs by placing your mouth directly over the mouthpiece. Breathalyzers at mid-range and upper-range prices often use an active measurement system.

Personal and professional use

All breathalyzers are suitable for personal use to measure anyone's blood alcohol content, but only some are professional-grade devices. If you need a breathalyzer that can be used in a clinical setting or a treatment facility, it's essential to get one with a full cell sensor that's been approved by law enforcement and passed the necessary tests to be suitable for professional use.

Picking the breathalyzer that fits your budget

Budget breathalyzers

A budget breathalyzer will probably cost less than $20 and may be disposable or fit on a keychain. These tiny units are more like toys than precise measuring instruments. In other words, don’t expect to receive an accurate reading from a budget breathalyzer. These units are designed for general alcohol detection rather than BAC accuracy.

Mid-range breathalyzers

Expect to spend between $20 and $50 for a mid-range personal-use breathalyzer. Most of these are handheld units that are easy to use, although BAC accuracy is hit-and-miss. A mid-range breathalyzer may require more frequent recalibration than its pricier counterparts.

Top-range breathalyzers

You could spend anywhere from $50 to $200 on a top-tier breathalyzer. With proper maintenance, these units tend to provide relatively accurate BAC readings.

FAQ

Q. Can I rely on a personal breathalyzer to be precisely accurate?

A. Except for budget-priced keychain models, personal breathalyzers give a pretty accurate test result. They don’t provide the same level of accuracy as law enforcement breathalyzers, but they come relatively close in terms of BAC measurement. Even if you have just one drink, using a breathalyzer is always worth doing to avoid drunk driving, and it can save lives.

Q. How does a breathalyzer work?

A. Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, and molecules do not change during this absorption process. The blood then carries these molecules throughout the body, where they eventually reach the lungs and are expelled as the person exhales. Alcohol molecules add a distinctive odor to the breath, and the concentration of alcohol in the lungs closely matches its concentration in the bloodstream. So, by measuring alcohol concentration when a person exhales, a breathalyzer can provide a relatively accurate BAC number.

Q. If I don’t drink and drive, why would I measure this number?

A. If you’re questioning your sobriety, calling for a ride is always a no-brainer. But having a personal breathalyzer on hand can be helpful when you need to talk a friend out of driving after a few drinks. And some people may want to use a breathalyzer to prove they haven’t been drinking.

Q. How easy is a personal breathalyzer to use?

A. Although designs differ, most follow a similar usage pattern. Insert a new mouthpiece into the unit, and press the start button. You're ready for a test after the warm-up period, which can last 15 to 45 seconds. Some units will give you a countdown until the warm-up period is completed. Inhale deeply, and then exhale into the mouthpiece.

Receiving a reading may take five to 10 seconds of steady exhalation, but most breathalyzers will give you an audible signal when you can stop exhaling. For accuracy, taking a breathalyzer test approximately 20 minutes after your last drink is recommended, without any smoking or eating in between. This is because that’s how long it takes for alcohol in the mouth to be absorbed into the bloodstream. If you take a sip of an alcoholic drink and immediately use a breathalyzer, the reading will be higher than your actual BAC.

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