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Coin Operated Breathalyzer Devices - Do They Work?

You might have seen them in restaurants and bars - coin operated breathalyzer machines that purport to tell you whether you've had too much alcohol to be able to get behind the wheel and drive home. But do they really work, or are they just novelties?

You can read here about the P321000 Fuel Cell Coin Operated Breathalyzer, based on fuel-cell-sensor technology.

The machine is actually being promoted as a business opportunity for individuals who might wish to buy one (or several) to place in bars and other drinking establishments. Patrons will then pay - usually one dollar a time - to use it.

The device's manufacturers make no claim to its accuracy. At a FAQ web page they say:

What types of people use our machines?

Everyone, young and old. With the growing Worldwide concern over drunk driving more and more people are wanting to be "alcohol aware." Most of the repeat users will be young people at college bars and sports bars. Many businessmen are also using these machines again and again. The drunk driving issues insure repeat use of our machine for years of constant income.

...What about liability?

Essentially there is "no liability" regarding the breath alcohol analyzer. The reasons have been ascertained after thousands of dollars of painstaking research. The following conditions are necessary for a legal breath sample to be taken:

- The test must be in a controlled environment, no alcohol or smoke present.
- The test must be administered by a certified State/Provinical technician.
- The test results must be in a printed form for admission into court.
- The test must be on a State/Provincial approved and certified machine.
- There is a legal disclaimer printed on the front of each machine.

WHSV television news in Harrisonburg, Virginia, has reported on the new machine:

"Most people don't understand how many drinks it takes to get them to be a certain BAC level whether they're intoxicated or impaired...and they need that tool and they want that tool to know," says Jim Czachorowski, the founder of BACMaster.

Harrisonburg will be the first city that will have these new machines. They will be in local bars and restaurants within the next month.

The company's own website (no longer online) says that it is an "evidential quality instrument" based on  infrared absorption technology which is "accepted by every state in the US and is by far the leading evidential technology used in law enforcement today".

But is it completely reliable? No-one's saying.

There seems little doubt that coin operated breathalyzer devices are becoming increasingly reliable. But can they guarantee that you are safe to drive? Probably not.

The best advice surely remains the familiar adage: don't drink and drive.

March 23rd 2007 Update: Please also see BACmaster Breath Tester - Teaching Us When It Isn't Safe To Drive, with a very informative email from Jim Czachorowski, detailing the background to the BACmaster breathalyzer.

February 27th, 2007
Updated October 6th, 2009

See also my report Guide to Buying the Best Breathalyzer. Check out for its breathalyzer best seller list and for lots of customer reviews. And go to for the latest information on personal breathalyzers, along with promotions and special offers.



See Also:

AlcAlert BT5500 Personal Alcohol Detector
AlcoHawk ABI Breathalyzer
AlcoHawk Elite Breathalyzer
AlcoHawk Micro Breathalyzer
AlcoHawk Precision Breathalyzer
AlcoHawk Pro Breathalyzer
AlcoHawk PT500 Breathalyzer
AlcoHawk Slim Breathalyzer
AlcoMate Breathalyzer
AlcoScan AL2500 Breathalyzer
BACtrack B70 Digital Breathalyzer
BACtrack Select S30 Breathalyzer
BACtrack Select S50 Breathalyzer
BACtrack Select S70 Breathalyzer
BACtrack Select S80 Pro Breathalyzer
BACtrack S75 Pro Breathalyzer
BreathKey Keychain Breathalyzer
LG LP4100 Cell Phone with Breathalyser
LifeGuard Breathalyzer
Lifeloc FC10 Breath Alcohol Tester
Lifeloc FC20 Breath Alcohol Tester

AlcoHawk Digital Alcohol Detector
AlcoHawk Precision Digital Alcohol Breath Tester - What People Are Saying
AlcoHawk Slim Digital Alcohol Breath Tester - Why Is It So Popular?
BACmaster Breath Tester - Teaching Us When It Isn't Safe To Drive
Blood Alcohol Tester or Breathalyzer?
Blood Alcohol Testers - Getting Smarter
Breath Alcohol Analyzer Alcohawk Slim Breathalyzers - What People Are Saying
Breath Alcohol Testing and Underage Drinkers
Breathalyzer Accuracy
Breathalyzer for Sale - Looking for the Best
Breathalyzer Machine for Lung Cancer
Breathalyzer Reviews
Car Breathalyzer - What Can We Expect?
Cheap Breathalyzer - How Low Can You Go?
Coin Operated Breathalyzer Devices - Do They Work?
Guide to Buying the Best Breathalyzer
Home Breathalyzer - Resources Guide
How to Beat a Breathalyzer
How to Pass a Breathalyzer
Personal Alcohol Detector - Tips for Choosing the Best
You Say Breathalizer, I Say Breathalyzer...


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