Andatech AlcoSense breathalyser helps stop DUI (review)
4.6Overall Score

Price (RRP): $269-469
Manufacturer: Andatech AlcoSense

The Andatech AlcoSense personal breathalysers range in price from $269 to $449. Considering fines and loss of licence for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), they provide cheap protection.

Of course, that is on the assumption that prevention is better than the cure. Determined drunks will drive anyway, and they are frequently called ‘Bloody idiots’.

No, these pocket-size portable units are for responsible drivers who would not DUI. They are for drivers who may enjoy a drink or three after work or over dinner. They won’t drive until the AlcoSense breathalysers say its safe to do so. Or leave the car and have a Plan B.

GadgetGuy responsibly covered a message from Andatech titled “Don’t blow it this Valentine’s Day – or ever”. We got talking about alcohol and drug testing in general. They kindly sent us both the entry-level Andatech AlcoSense Verity and the top-of-the-range Zenith+ to test. We hope to extend this relationship to review drug testing later.

Review paradigm – an excuse to drink!

It is a hard life testing and reviewing technology. The test was simple. I am a 90kg, sexagenarian (that is a person between 60-69 – not necessarily what the name infers). I would consume a 750ml bottle of 2015 McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon (over two hours) with 15% alcohol/volume (equivalent to 8.9 standard drinks per bottle).

My wife is a tall quinquagenarian (weight withheld). She would sip three drinks of a 2017 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (in a similar time) with 11.5% alcohol/volume (6.8 standard drinks per bottle).

To put that into millilitre terms one standard drink is 84 ml of the Cab Sav and 110ml of the Sav Blanc.

The rule of thumb for men is two standard drinks in the first hour and one per hour after will keep you at the legal limit. Women – slightly less.

But as you will see below that is not a lot – the first photo is 84ml (pink) and 110ml (green) and the second is 200ml (green) – about half a typical wine glass.

Andatech AlcoSense

84ml (pink for red wine) and 110ml (green for white wine) – not a lot of difference is there?

Andatech AlcoSense

200ml green – where I would normally fill a glass. Nowhere near a standard drink.

As a guide

  • 375ml can low-strength beer (2.7% alcohol) = 0.8 standard drinks
  • 375ml can mid-strength beer (3.5% alcohol) = 1 standard drink
  • 375ml can full-strength beer (4.8% alcohol) = 1.4 standard drinks
  • 100ml wine (13.5% alcohol) = 1 standard drink
  • 150ml wine (13.5% alcohol) = 1.5 standard drinks (average restaurant serving)
  • 30ml spirits (40% alcohol) = 0.95 standard drinks
  • 300-440ml can pre-mix spirits (approx. 5% alcohol) = 1.2-1.7 standard drinks
  • 300-440ml can pre-mix spirits (approx. 7% alcohol) = 1.6-2.4 standard drinks

So judging alcohol intake by a ‘standard’ glass is fraught with danger.

Me

  • One 84ml glass registered .018 BAC (blood alcohol content)
  • Second glass soon after (168ml in total) registered .037 BAC
  • Third glass thirty minutes after (252ml in total) registered .055 BAC

The assumption is that an average weight/build person will purge the alcohol of one standard drink every hour.

There is a difference between men and women – anecdotally women record higher BAC on the same consumption. But here is the kicker – the same alcohol consumption one day can have a different BAC the next.