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Understanding Alcoblow Devices: How Do They Work

News & Blog

Title: Understanding Alcoblow Devices: How Do They Work?


Alcohol-impaired driving poses a significant risk to road safety, leading authorities to employ various measures to deter and detect drunk driving. Among these measures, Alcoblow devices, also known as breathalyzers, play a crucial role. But have you ever wondered how these devices actually work? In this blog, we’ll delve into the inner workings of Alcoblow devices and demystify the science behind them.

The Science of Breathalyzer Technology:

Alcoblow devices are based on the fundamental principle that alcohol, when consumed, is absorbed into the bloodstream and eventually makes its way into the breath. As a person exhales, these alcohol molecules are expelled in their breath, creating a connection between the concentration of alcohol in the breath and the concentration of alcohol in the blood.

Measuring Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC):

Alcoblow devices are designed to estimate an individual’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) by analyzing the alcohol content in their exhaled breath. The process involves the following key steps:

1. Breath Sample Collection:

When you blow into the device, it collects a sample of your breath. This breath sample is essential for the analysis.

2. Ethanol Oxidation:

Within the Alcoblow device, the collected breath sample is exposed to a sensitive sensor or fuel cell. The sensor catalyzes the oxidation of ethanol (the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages) in the breath sample.

3. Electrical Current Measurement:

As ethanol is oxidized, it produces electrical current, which is directly proportional to the amount of alcohol in the breath. The Alcoblow device measures this electrical current.

4. Calibration and Conversion:

The electrical current measurement is then calibrated and converted into a numerical value representing the estimated BAC. This value is typically displayed on the device’s screen.

Accuracy and Calibration:

The accuracy of Alcoblow devices is crucial for their reliability. To ensure accurate results, these devices must be regularly calibrated and maintained. Calibrations take into account environmental factors and other variables that can affect the accuracy of the readings.

Legal BAC Limits:

In many jurisdictions, there are legal BAC limits that determine whether a person is driving under the influence. These limits vary by location but often range from 0.08% to 0.05% BAC. If an Alcoblow test indicates that a person’s BAC exceeds the legal limit, they may face legal consequences, such as fines, license suspension, or even imprisonment.


Alcoblow devices are powerful tools in the fight against drunk driving, as they provide a quick and non-invasive method to estimate a person’s BAC. Understanding how these devices work sheds light on their reliability and the science that underpins their operation. However, it’s essential to remember that while Alcoblow devices are a valuable resource for law enforcement, they are not infallible, and their results can sometimes be challenged. If you ever find yourself in a situation involving an Alcoblow test, it’s advisable to seek legal advice and understand your rights. Ultimately, Alcoblow devices, when used properly, contribute significantly to road safety by deterring and identifying individuals who drive under the influence of alcohol.

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