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Reviewed: AlcoSense Excel Breathalyser
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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reviewed: AlcoSense Excel Breathalyser Reply with quote

Driving whilst impaired through alcohol is now almost universally regarded as anti-social. Long gone are the days when it was acceptable to drive to the pub, down a skin full and then drive home again. The first blood alcohol limit for drivers was introduced in January 1966 and although numerous campaigns have reduced the number of drink driving casualties the previous steady decline has changed to an increase in recent years with statistics showing a large rise due to "morning after" driving offences.

And that's where I see alcohol breathalysers devices such as those manufactured by AlcoSense that I am reviewing here come into play

Read the full review here: AlcoSense Excel Breathalyser
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Last edited by Darren on Fri May 19, 2017 4:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So while they claim +15%, it was actually 25% higher than the 'official' one for the lager and 30% higher for the wine. But at least it's erring on the 'safe' side.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think it would be fair to focus too much on the amount of over-read here. These were far from laboratory conditions and time was against us. But they did confirm the unit's reading was consistent against the alcometer and that it over-read.

I'm old enough to have initially been trained to use the glass tube and bag breath testers, remember those? Open the box, use the seated edge to cut off both ends of the sealed tube and then pop a mouthpiece and bag. All they had was a line on the tube, the crystals inside changing colour in the presence of alcohol and if the colour passed the line then that was enough for a trip to the nick.

I wonder how they would measure up for accuracy nowadays? Shocked
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martinwinlow
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

M8TJT wrote:
So while they claim +15%, it was actually 25% higher than the 'official' one for the lager and 30% higher for the wine. But at least it's erring on the 'safe' side.


I very much doubt this is a design flaw and is probably done intentionally - a bit like the cooking instructions on anything you buy in the shops basically encouraging you to 'nuke' it for fear of the producer/shop being sued for causing food poisoning.
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martinwinlow
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experience the rise in 'morning after' breath test failures has a lot to do with immigration - but it would be interesting to do some freedom of info act research to see how the various nationalities (recorded on custody records) relate to this subject.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They state in the guide that this unit has a +20%/ -0% error built -in to provide an extra level of safety and to compensate for errors that may occur as the unit nears the 12mths re-calibration period.
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Darren re unscientific comparison, but to counter your post, it seems that it is not a 'design feature' as you suggest as they claim +15% -0% so it should conform to that and not be deliberately made to over read by +30%
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

martinwinlow wrote:
In my experience the rise in 'morning after' breath test failures has a lot to do with immigration - but it would be interesting to do some freedom of info act research to see how the various nationalities (recorded on custody records) relate to this subject.

Huh? How does that have any bearing on this??

The rise is due to people consuming greater quantities of alcohol and drinking later into the evening/early morning.

If it takes one hour to break down one unit of alcohol it's not hard to see how you could easily have consumed too much to be clear by 7 or 8am the following morning.

Try this calculator to see how it's easy to need 20+ hours AFTER your last drink before you're safe to drive:

http://www.brake.org.uk/t-cs/21-facts-a-resources/resources/1337-morning-after-drink-drive-calculator
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

M8TJT wrote:
I'm with Darren re unscientific comparison, but to counter your post, it seems that it is not a 'design feature' as you suggest as they claim +15% -0% so it should conform to that and not be deliberately made to over read by +30%

They state +20% in the manual. The test was near 25% but that difference could easily be down to my testing method.
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Allan_whoops
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its not immigration pushing up the figures, its women aged between 45 - 60 and young men 25 - 30 who are the main culprits.
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druck
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 1:29 pm    Post subject: Not the morning after Reply with quote

The whole article was about the problems of morning after driving, yet the tests were carried out 15 minutes after drinking. How about seeing how it well it copes compared to the police unit in a proper morning after test? Surely you could have found a couple of volunteers to drink a sufficient amount to be at risk?
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And why is that relevant? I mention the morning after issue as a reason why testing might be valuable.

I've compared the AlcoSense to an alcometer to show it is broadly accurate. So why would having someone run tests the morning after demonstrate that this is any more effective at measuring BAC?

Finding volunteers to drink isn't the issue, getting access to an alcometer is and so I ran the tests that I could when I had the all to brief chance to use one.
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Last edited by Darren on Fri May 19, 2017 4:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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M8TJT
The Other Tired Old Man
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is getting stupid now.
And no, I didn't start it.
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Privateer
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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do the police think to people having their own breathalysers?

The may be some drivers (hopefully a very small minority) who would use a breathalyser to maximise the amount of alcohol that they drink yet keep under the legal limit and therefore might be deemed as "going equipped to drink & drive"?

Drinkaware website wrote:
Even small amounts of alcohol can affect your ability to drive so the only safe advice is to avoid any alcohol if you are driving.

We all know the above, do you think that personal breathalysers may encourage people to have just one more alcoholic drink?

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ynysygwas
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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
And why is that relevant? I mention the morning after issue as a reason why testing might be valuable.

I've compared the AlcoSense to an alcometer to show it is broadly accurate. So why would having someone run tests the morning after demonstrate that this is any more effective at measuring BAC?

Finding volunteers to drink isn't the issue, getting access to an alcometer is and so I ran the tests that I could when I had the all to brief chance to use one.


Agreed. You've compared one Alcosense. My take on your study is that if I pass an Alcosense test then I am not going to breaking the law as it stands. I might, of course, still not be safe to drive! Thank you for the mini trial.

It would be handy if there was some sort of 'rent a breathalyser' service, for that time you discover the lager you thought was 4% turns out to be some special 6.6% version and you don't know if you are just over. Perhaps enterprising pubs and restaurants could invest in an Alcosense and allow their customers to use it. Or a mobile service for the morning after. Say, 40, to ensure you keep your license.
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