What is a Breathalyzer?

A breath alcohol analyzer, or Breathalyzer, is a device used to estimate
blood alcohol content (BAC) from a
breath sample. “Breathalyzer” is actually a trademark from one
manufacturer of these devices, but has become a common term for all such
instruments. AlcoHAWK, Alcotest, Alcosensor,
Datamaster, Intoxilyzer, and Intoximeter are some other brand names in
use today.

There are a number of models of breath alcohol analyzers that are
intended for consumers. These hand-held Breathalyzers are less
expensive and can be much smaller than the devices used by law
enforcement. They can be useful in determining a user’s BAC proactively, before he or she decides whether to
drive.

The U.S. Government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) maintains a “
Conforming Products List
” of breath alcohol devices approved for law
enforcement use.

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