AlcoSense could help you keep your driving licence

AloSense Ultra breathalyser
The AlcoSense Ultra could save your licence from drink-driving the morning after.

DRINK-DRIVING is never a good idea, and you would hope most motorists are now well enough educated to know that they shouldn’t do it, but what about the morning after?

It’s a trap many fall into, having had a good night out, or a glass of vino or two at home, and then driving the next morning and finding themselves still over the prescribed drink-driving limit – when it’s too late! AlsoSense says 17.8% of drivers are caught over the limit the morning after.

The consequences of getting caught are, in most cases, a year’s driving ban and a huge fine, followed by increased insurance costs – something most drivers would find incredibly inconvenient and costly. The ramifications can be even worse – you could lose your job, and then your home because you can’t pay your mortgage, or you could cause an accident that involves other people. It’s simply not worth it.

AlcoSense produce a range of personal breathalysers which allow users to test themselves the morning after they have had a drink – before they get behind the wheel.

While Christmas is the most commonly perceived time for drink-drivers and the focus of many national campaigns over the years, many people now commit to a dry January to rid themselves of the Christmas excesses. But as we get into February and people allow themselves a few drinks again, investing in your own personal breathalyser could just save your licence – and avoid a potentially nasty accident.

The potentially dangerous ‘morning after drinking’ driving habits may be an under-acknowledged risk area.  If this includes driving for a living, or ferrying children around, a personal breathalyser could be a life-saver for themselves and other road users.

AlcoSense is one of the leading brands in personal breathalysers and the ultimate personal breathalyser in the AlcoSense range is the AlcoSense Ultra, SSP £249.99, with more features than any other device in the range, and we’ve been putting one to the test.

It comes in an impressive box, and a generous supply of blow tubes and is quick and easy to set up. It also has its own little carrying case so it’s easy to keep your breathalyzer and blow-tubes together in your glovebox or door pocket.

The AlcoSense Ultra uses exactly the same professional 200mm2 fuel cell alcohol sensor as several UK, US & European Police breathalysers, taking accuracy, features and ease of use to a new level and is the culmination of three years of research and development.

The 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 also uses additional professional grade sensors to measure the blow pressure, flow rate and volume of breath exhaled and takes a reading when one litre of air has been exhaled ensuring that the most accurate sample is always taken.  To improve accuracy even further, readings are fine-tuned according to temperature.

Its patented Blow Coach feature helps you to blow into it correctly.  If you get it wrong, the Ultra diagnoses why the test failed and gives you tailored tips so that you can quickly get it right next time. Importantly, the AlcoSense Ultra has some clever software to eliminate under-reading by reading a little on the safe side.  There is also protection from sensor saturation e.g. if you perform your breath test shortly after drinking when alcohol is still present in the mouth.

The AlcoSense Ultra features a full colour 1.8 inch (48mm) screen which gives you clear traffic light coloured screens with detailed readings of your alcohol level in both blood or breath readings.   The Ultra not only alerts you NOT to drive if you’re close to or over your chosen limit, it will even calculate how long it will take until you’re sober and set an alarm to re-test you again later.  And it will store 128 of your personal results in its on-board memory with date and time stamps, using bespoke AlcoSense software.  This is downloadable onto your PC giving you a record of your results.

All European and several worldwide drink-drive limits are pre-set on the Ultra so it’s easy to use on any cross-border road trip year round.  Should a limit change, the unit can be updated through a software download from AlcoSense.  You can even pre-set your own self-imposed limit lower than the country you are in.

And finally, the Ultra features a backlit blow tube receptor so it’s easy to use on dark mornings, evenings or at dusk.  The mouthpieces feature a one-way valve to eliminate contamination from previous tests for ultimate accuracy.

“Even one alcoholic drink can slow your reaction time, inhibit judgement, reduce concentration and affect motor skills such as eye, foot and hand co-ordination – increasing the likelihood of an accident,” says Hunter Abbott, the managing director of AlcoSense and member of PACTS, transport safety advisers to Parliament.

AlcoSense offers a re-calibration service by post using Police spec Breath Alcohol Simulators for your Ultra on an annual basis.  The Ultra will automatically alert you to this check after 11 months and, after posting to the company, will be back with you within five working days.

The AlcoSense Ultra is manufactured under ISO13485 conditions, the benchmark in medical device quality systems.

For more information on the AlcoSense range, visit the website