Buyers Guide

Breathalyzer Buyers Guide 

 Alcohol Testers for drug and alcohol clinics, hospitals, medical clinics, military, businesses, maritime operations and consumers

  

Every breathalyzer we sell is a professional caliber device and can be used for alcohol screening in a variety of environments including drug & alcohol treatment centers, hospitals, medical clinics, military bases, maritime operations, law enforcement, schools, businesses or for personal testing. Each has unique features which will make it a better choice depending on application. They have all been DOT/NHTSA approved for law-enforcement grade accuracy, FDA 501(k) cleared, and US Coast Guard Approved to satisfy the requirements of all marine vessels in US waters to have a breathalyzer-on-board. 

 

Alcohol Tester Approvals DOT NHTSA US Coast Guard 

Typically there are three major factors to consider when choosing a breathalyzer: accuracy, cost and convenience. First, we will give you a brief overview of sensor types and technologies because this is what will ultimately determine the accuracy, cost and convenience of the breathalyzer. Below that is a section that gives the pros and cons of each breathalyzer. Armed with this information you should be able to make an informed decision and choose the right breathalyzer for your application.  If you have any questions or you need assistance please call us at 877-269-4492. We are here to help you.

Sensor Installation Technology 

All breathalyzers regardless of manufacturer, make or model require sensor calibration about once a year. Some will need it more often depending on frequency of use, sensor type and quality of the device. There are two technologies (methods) used to incorporate the sensor into a breath alcohol testing device: PRISM technology (removable) and Permanent (non-removable).

A) PRISM Technology (Removable)    PRISM logo for alcohol tester sensor

PRISM Technology (Pre-Calibrated Removable Sensor Modules) allows the user to replace a sensor that has gone out of calibration with a new, factory calibrated sensor resetting the device back to brand new, factory-perfect calibration. This process only takes a matter of minutes and it saves the user from having to ship their breathalyzer back to the factory or service center for calibration. It also ensures it will remain accurate and that the user will never be without their breathalyzer. PRISM Technology is a patented process only available in the AlcoMate REVO TS200, Premium AL7000 and Prestige AL6000.

B) Permanent (Non-removable) 

Most breathalyzer makes and models currently on the market, except the AlcoMate REVO, AlcoMate Premium and AlcoMate Prestige, use sensors that are permanently installed in the breathalyzer. They are not removable, so in order to have the device calibrated it is necessary to ship the breathalyzer out to a professional calibration service. The cost in time, effort, calibration fees and being without the breathalyzer is a major consideration when choosing a breath alcohol testing device.

Sensor Type 

There are two different types of sensors used in most breathalyzers: semi-conductor and fuel cell. As with most products, there are high-quality and cheaper-quality versions of both semi-conductor sensors and fuel-cell sensors on the market. The quality of sensor used is usually reflected in the cost of the breathalyzer. Because the breathalyzers we sell are all professional caliber, only high-quality sensors are used. 

A) Fuel-Cell 

High-quality fuel-cell sensors will consistently yield accurate BAC test results across the spectrum from 0.00 to 0.40 but they are more costly to manufacture and therefor more expensive. They will remain accurate for up to about 1,000 tests. 

B) Semi-Conductor 

The high-quality semi-conductor sensors used in AlcoMate breathalyzers are consistently accurate from 0.00 to 0.12 (50% over the legal limit of 0.08). After that they will gradually tend to show results that are slightly higher than actual BAC. They will remain accurate for approximately 200 tests or up to one year. Semi-conductor sensors cost less to make than fuel cell sensors which helps keep the cost of breathalyzers down.

Breathalyzer Summary 

A) PRISM Sensor Breathalyzers    

The AlcoMate REVO TS200, Premium AL7000 and Prestige AL6000 all use PRISM sensor technology (Precalibrated Replaceable Sensor Modules). The REVO uses a fuel-cell PRISM sensor and the Premium and Prestige use a semi-conductor PRISM sensor.

B) Permanent Sensor Breathalyzers 

The AlcoMate AccuCell AL9000 and the TS100 each use permanent (non-removable) fuel-cell sensors. The sensor is not replaceable by the user as with PRISM sensor technology. 

Breathalyzers - Pros and Cons 

AlcoMate REVO TS200   AlcoMate REVO TS200 breathalyzer

"Top rated breathalyzer for professional alcohol screening in any volume. Accurate, fast, very long sensor life (1,000 tests), simple to use, convenient (factory calibration never needed). Also a great choice for pro-caliber personal testing if your budget allows".             

Pros 

  • PRISM Technology allows user to replace sensor to recalibrate without device needing factory calibration. No other fuel-cell breath alcohol tester has this feature
  • advanced fuel-cell sensor is police-grade accurate across the spectrum from 0.00 to 0.40
  • eliminates false positives that can result from ketones in breath sample (diabetes).
  • 5 second recovery time allows for fast multi-subject testing
  • 1,000 tests from each PRISM sensor
  • most economical for volume testing over long term

Cons 

  • Costs more than some breathalyzers
  • Does not have USB PC connect capability to capture and store test results on a PC like AL9000

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 AlcoMate Premium AL7000   AlcoMate Premium AL7000 Breathalyzer 

"Great choice for professional and personal alcohol screening for mid-volume testing (up to 500 tests per year)". 

Pros 

  • PRISM Technology allows user to replace sensor to recalibrate without device needing factory calibration.
  • ease and speed of sensor module change via sensor panel on back of device (takes approx.60 seconds)
  • advanced semi-conductor sensor is police-grade accurate from 0.00 to 0.12 (50% over the legal limit). Meets DOT requirements for police road-side alcohol screening.
  • 200 tests from each PRISM sensor
  • cost of PRISM sensor for AL7000 is less than half that of a REVO TS200 sensor
  • economical for low to mid-volume testing

Cons 

  • at BAC levels above 0.12 (50% over the legal limit) it’s not as accurate as fuel-cell models (TS200, TS100, AL9000).
  • may show false positive due to ketones sometimes present in persons with diabetes

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 AlcoMate Prestige AL6000    AlcoMate Prestige AL6000

"Economical choice for professional and personal alcohol screening for mid-volume testing (up to 500 tests per year)".

Pros 

  • PRISM Technology allows user to replace sensor to recalibrate without device needing factory calibration.
  • advanced semi-conductor sensor is police-grade accurate from 0.00 to 0.12 (50% over the legal limit). Meets DOT requirements for police road-side alcohol screening.
  • 200 tests from each PRISM sensor
  • Cost of PRISM sensor for AL6000 is much less than REVO TS200
  • economical for low to mid-volume testing

Cons 

  • sensor change is not as easy as AL7000. Requires some disassembly of devise (takes approx. 5 minutes)
  • at BAC levels above 0.12 (50% over the legal limit) it’s not as accurate as fuel-cell models (TS200, TS100, AL9000).
  • May show false positive due to ketones sometimes present in persons with diabetes

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 AlcoMate AccuCell AL9000    AlcoMate AccuCell AL9000 Alcohol Tester

"Recommended for professional alcohol screening where test results must be captured on a Windows PC at the time of testing".                 

Pros 

  • Optional USB PC Connect Kit allows for capture of test results on a Windows PC
  • advanced fuel-cell sensor is police-grade accurate across the spectrum from 0.00 to 0.40
  • eliminates false positives that can result from ketones in breath sample (diabetes).
  • 5 second recovery time allows for fast multi-subject testing
  • 1,000 tests before breathalyzer requires calibration

Cons 

  • Does not use PRISM technology so it requires periodic calibration by AlcoMate factory or a professional service center
  • More costly than the REVO because it incorporates USB PC connect technology

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AlcoMate TS100    AlcoMate TS100 Fuel Cell Breathalyzer

"The TS100 is a great choice for professional or personal testing when the need for fuel-cell accuracy, ultra-compact size and economy out-weight the need for periodic factory calibration (like all other breathalyzer makes and models other than the AlcoMate REVO, Premium and Prestige)."               

Pros 

  • advanced fuel-cell sensor is police-grade accurate across the spectrum from 0.00 to 0.40
  • eliminates false positives that can result from ketones in breath sample (diabetes).
  • 5 second recovery time allows for fast multi-subject testing
  • 1,000 tests before breathalyzer requires calibration
  • most compact fuel cell breathalyzer available
  • very economical handheld fuel-cell breath alcohol tester

Cons 

  • Does not use PRISM technology so it requires periodic calibration by AlcoMate factory or a professional service center

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If you have any questions or you would like help choosing a breathalyzer please contact us. We're here to help!