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One of the most confusing things about the range of breathalyzers out there is they all seem to read in different units – fine if you work in the industry but perhaps a little confusing otherwise.

We have a Driver Info page on our website to help you try and decipher the various readings, and most importantly what the UK limit would be displayed as.  Once you know what measurement it is that your device reads in, then common sense will hopefully prevail in deciding whether or not you are ok to drive. 

We also enclose our own Manuals with most of the devices we sell which spell out in plain English what you have bought, how to use it, what your unit reads in, and what the UK Drink Drive limit would be displayed as.  Hopefully this helps.  Certainly they make more sense than some of the manuals provided by the manufacturers (given the mainly Chinese origins of most them!).

In essence, there are about 4 main types of measurement unit (think miles/kilometres/inches/centimetres etc), as follows:

  • %BAC – this is the ‘old style’ UK Police reading, used in a lot of the cheaper Personal devices (eg Slim 2, Precision etc).  UK Drink Drive limit would be displayed as 0.08 (or simply 08 in the more basic units)
  • mg/100ml (also known as Promile or ‰BAC) – popularly used by the Police in the USA, current UK drink drive limit would be displayed as 0.80 or 080.  Currently found on the AlcoHawk Pro and AlcoSense Elite amongst others.
  • mg/L – pretty rare although more commonly found on the cheaper Korean devices, the UK limit would be displayed as 0.40.
  • Microgrammes per 100ml (µg/100ml) – reading most commonly used by the UK Police force and found on our Home Office Approved devices by Draeger such as the 6810.  Current UK Limit would be displayed as 35.

Oh and as an aside, the UK Limit is not a target.  You WILL lose your licence if you’re caught over it. Hopefully that would be the ONLY thing you’d lose. 

Best not take the risk though, eh?


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