Useful breathalysers for use in the UK and in Mainland Europe

See our recent NEWS item
New EU rule - cars with breathalyser interface and speed limiters by 2022

See our recent NEWS item. More

Driving in France
Since 2012, it's been the law there to carry an NF approved breathalyser in the car whilst driving in France. A good, cheap way to comply with this law is to purchase the AlcoSense NF breathalyser which has been specifically designed to accord with French law. They are available from Halfords where an AlcoSense Single Use NF Breathalyser Twin Pack is currently £5.99.

Things to take when driving in France
See the RAC checklist. More

Posted: 191201
AlcoSense Ultra personal breathalyser
The AlcoSense say "if you’re looking for the ultimate personal breathalyser– we think you’ve found it. The culmination of 3 years of research and development, the AlcoSense Ultra take accuracy, features and ease of use to a new level.

The AlcoSense Ultra uses a professional grade sampling system to ensure that only deep lung air (the most accurate part of the breath) is measured by the sensor. It uses professional grade sensors to measure the blow pressure, flow rate and volume of breath exhaled and takes a reading when 1 litre of air has been exhaled, ensuring the most accurate sample is always taken. To improve accuracy even further, readings are fine-tuned according to temperature".

They are available from Halfords where an AlcoSense Ultra tester is currently £249.99. Halfords
Ken Clayton found our recent NEWS item on the "New EU rule - cars with breathalyser interface and speed limiters by 2022" interesting and says "before I went to France in September this year I purchased a AlcoSense Ultra breathalyserfrom Halfords. It wasn’t cheap at £249 less an AA discount of 10%. France has a lower Blood Alcohol level limit for drivers than the UK. They have two limits France Low; 0.10mg/L and France Norm; 0.25mg/L. I purchased the AlcoSense Ultra Breathalyser merely to check “the morning after” effect. With a lower limit in France I also set the gauge on the settings menu to France Low.

The AlcoSense Ultra screen, on blowing into the machine, gives a Reading for Blood Alcohol and works on a Traffic light system.
Green: 0.00 Alcohol
Amber: above 0.00 and with an approx./, time before you are ’sober’ to drive
Red: With a reading of blood alcohol and an approx., time before you are ’sober’ to drive.
I found the product extremely reliable.

As for fitting one to a car’s ignition system, this has the obvious problem of “getting the sober passenger or friend” to blow into the device to start the engine!

Ken also commented on the other EU measure mentioned in the NEWS item of speed limiters using ‘Intelligent Speed Assistance’ (ISA) software which stops drivers from going above speed limits and can slow speeding vehicles. Other features can detect when a driver is falling asleep, drifting over lanes or losing concentration. The speed-limiter software uses GPS data and speed limits from local traffic cameras, displaying the limits on your car’s dashboard. Ken comments "the speed limiter working on a GPs basis also has the downside that not all the information on the GPs system is up to date - for example temporary 50mph limits on roadworks introduced today take longer to be received as updates on the GPs system. Also if you need to safely overtake a vehicle who is doing 30mph in a 50mph area, you may inadvertently accelerate well above the legal maximum for several yards before bringing the vehicle to the speed limit or the road. Obviously, I appreciate that for that moment of time you would be travelling at an illegal speed".