FAQ'S - Alcodigital breathalyzers, Units, limits, instructions

Breathalyser Information

As UK Drug and Alcohol Safety experts and the most experienced breathalyser retailer in the UK, we are often asked similar questions about breathalyzers.

Here’s some answers to some common questions which you may find useful in deciding which device is the best one for you.

As always, you can contact us with any specific questions you may have.

Once you have completed checkout, print a copy of your invoice and package your breathalyser up carefully (we’d suggest some bubble wrap and a padded envelope at a minimum; if you have the original packaging, better still). Include the invoice inside the package and make sure you clearly mark the outside of the packing with your return name and address.

Send the package to this address:


Unit 1, Danhill Estate

Coolham Road

West Chiltington

West Sussex

RH20 2LH

(Please note that due to planning restrictions we cannot receive personal callers at this address).

We would suggest an insured delivery method and recommend Royal Mail Special Delivery; this will cover your device for up to £500 should it go missing. Please note, the office does not open before 9am.

We have a few options for you to choose from, depending on how quickly you need your breathalyser back. Select one of these options at checkout:

Royal Mail 2nd Class Signed For – £4.50

Next Working Day Courier Delivery – £7.50

Courier AM delivery – £15.00

Courier Saturday delivery – £25.00

Our standard breathalyser calibration service takes 3-5 working days.

If you have a professional fuel cell breathalyser which is in constant use, you can use our express service; we will calibrate and dispatch your breathalyser on the day we receive it (provided it arrives with us before 12pm). So, if you choose Royal Mail Special Delivery, you can have your breathalyser back within 2 days of sending it to us (for example, send it to us on Monday afternoon, you’ll have it back by 1pm on Wednesday). Please note, the office does not open before 9am.

All our current digital breathalysers can be calibrated, along with some older models which you’ll see above.

If you can’t find your breathalyser model, please contact us and we’ll tell you if we can calibrate it.

No; professional recalibration equipment is required, along with a licence from HM Customs & Excise to purchase, store and use the materials required. We are the appointed Service Centre for more makes and models than anyone else in the UK because we have the technical capability to carry out all service and calibration work in-house.

If you have one of our swap and go breathalysers, you can purchase a new replaceable sensor which you can fit yourself – just like a battery.

Think of calibration as a service on your car; if you use the car a lot, you’ll need to have it serviced more often – even if your car just sits in the garage for most of the time, it still needs an annual service. Sometimes, leaving your car out of use can lead to more service work than using it regularly. It’s the same with a breathalyser. Most people will perform less than 500 tests a year, in which case an annual calibration will be fine.

However, if the breathalyser spends long periods of time out of use, this in itself can lead to problems with the sensor drying out.  It’s best to use a breathalyser at least a couple of times a month to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Another reason for regular calibration – if a breathalyser hasn’t been recalibrated for some time, it is possible that the sensor will move so far out of range that it cannot be brought back into the operating range. We therefore recommend personal digital breathalysers are calibrated every 12 months or if you’re using it for workplace alcohol testing, every 6 months.

Using a breathalyser within less than the minimum time after drinking (20 mins) or smoking (10 mins) can dramatically reduce a sensor’s life before it needs recalibrating. In some cases the whole device will need replacing if excessive smoke/alcohol or other contaminants have been blown into the unit. It’s worth remembering that breathalysers are sensitive medical instruments and must be used in accordance with instructions supplied in the user manual.

All breathalysers should be calibrated at least once every 12 months; those used for workplace alcohol testing should be calibrated every 6 months.

Check your breathalyser’s user manual if you’re not sure, or contact us for help.

Possibly – we are authorised to calibrate over 58 devices currently available in the UK. Contact us and let us know what type of breathalyser it is. If we can help, we will.

If you have an AL6000, AL7000, AlcoDigital Platinum or AlcoDigital EON, you can purchase a replaceable sensor that you can fit yourself – just like a battery.

If you prefer, you can send your breathalyser to us for calibration.

All breathalysers have a finite lifespan. Looking after them with regular calibration servicing on an annual basis helps to extend the sensor accuracy, however there will be a point at which the device stops holding the calibration settings and is deemed a calibration failure.

This is usually established when the unit has been sent into us for calibration and in our workshop undergoing its servicing. If this is the case, we will contact you to check how you would like to proceed and take all steps necessary to ensure a happy outcome – including offering a trade-in valuation so you can receive a discount on a new breathalyser.

When posting your breathalyser to us, we would suggest an insured delivery method and can recommend Royal Mail Special Delivery; this will cover your breathalyser up to the value of £500 should it go missing. Please note, the workshop does not open before 9am.

The price you pay will depend on the size of your parcel – you can use Royal Mail’s Price Finder to get a price.

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