BACtrack Mobile Review
The term “breathalyzer” can stir up negative connotations to a lot of us. After all, the only time most people come in contact with one is not under the best circumstances, so the connotations are understandable. But what if we could flip that on it’s head. What if the breathalyzer could be used as a tool to understand how alcohol affects your body? What if it could be used to tell you, a friend or a loved one when their blood alcohol content (BAC) has returned to 0.0 and it’s once again safe to drive a vehicle? What if a personal breathalyzer could save you thousands of dollars in legal fees? What if it could save a life? These are just a few of the possibilities available to you when you have a breathalyzer at your disposal. So the question isn’t should you have your own breathalyzer, it’s which breathalyzer should you order today.
The BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer
BACtrack is a company that has been producing personal breathalyzers since 2001. Their line-up contains products that range in price from $20 – $150, allowing options for all budgets. For this article I’m testing the BACtrack Mobile, it uses the more advanced “Fuel Cell” sensor technology to obtain the most accurate reading. This is the same technology used by hospitals and police departments throughout the U.S. The breathalyzer contains a rechargeable battery that is charged via a USB cable connected to any standard USB power source. The BACtrack Mobile is used in conjunction with a free smart phone app that it connects to via a Bluetooth connection to display its readings. To use it, you simply power up the breathalyzer and the app. The app tells you when to begin to blow into the mouthpiece and when to stop. Once completed, your BAC is displayed almost immediately on your phone.
With each reading the app displays your current BAC level along with an estimated time until you will be back to 0.00 BAC, an extremely useful feature to help in potential decision making choices for consumers. The app also allows you to access historical data from previous readings, view maps showing readings for other BACtrack users, edit account info, or order up a ride from Uber if needed. The data storage seemed to be a concern to a number of people I talked to about the BACtrack mobile. Fears of readings being used against oneself was the most common concern, however, it’s important to note that personal breathalyzer results are rarely admissible in court. The data storage is also not a requirement to use the tool. As part of the initial setup of the device you can create an account, at which point you decide if you want to allow data storage or not and if you want that data shared anonymously. If you choose not to setup an account there will be no reading information saved. There is one minor flaw I do see with the BACtrack Mobile though. There is no way to get a reading on the actual device, you have to have the phone app. Therefore, if your phone dies (as it tends to do late in the evening) you won’t be able to get a reading until your phone gets enough of a charge to operate again.
The test was to measure actual results against expected results using an online BAC calculator where you enter number of drinks, body weight and time since drinking started. Obviously, the inherent flaw with this test is that it doesn’t take into account variables such as if food was being eaten while an individual was drinking, but it still gives us an initial approximation to the devices accuracy. The outcome (below) shows a strong accuracy between what was expected and what the BACtrack Mobile registered.
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The BACtrack Mobile personal breathalyzer is a reliable and effective tool for determining someone’s BAC and estimating when they will return to 0. With more than 10 products available, BACtrack has an option that will fit your budget and your needs. If you’re a drinker of alcohol, a personal breathalyzer is definetly a tool you should own.