FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We're here to help!

If an answer to your question is not listed below please call us on
1300 667 661 and our technicians will assist you over the phone.

What is the difference between a fuel cell sensor and semi conductor sensor?

Fuel cell sensors use platinum electrodes with an electrolyte material between them. As ethyl alcohol passes through the sensor the platinum oxidizes it into acetic acid. This generates a current to give your breathalyser reading.

Semiconductor sensors carry out an internal reaction of ethyl alcohol into acetic acid and water which generates a electric current for your breathalyser reading. However, other substances can mimic acetic acid causing skewed results in semiconductor sensors.

Fuel cell sensors are used by law enforcement as they are more accurate and hold calibration longer then semiconductor sensors.

Semiconductor sensors are good for testing the presence of alcohol, but fuel cell sensors are definately more precise for accuracy.

 

 

I tested myself after brushing my teeth and using mouthwash and received a reading on my breathalyser but I had not been drinking, how is that possible?

Mouthwash contains ethanol which is detected by breath alcohol sensors - it is a type of alcohol. This alcohol dissipates in the mouth relatively quickly. Per our instructions, it is imperative to not consume anything for 10-15 minutes before testing in case food or drink contains a small amount of alcohol. If you are actually drinking alcohol please remember to wait the full 20 minutes before testing to ensure all mouth alcohol is gone.

If I get a reading of 0.049%BAC, is it safe to drive?

We don't recommend driving with ANY amount of alcohol in your system. Your alcohol level can continue to increase for up to 2 hours after you finish drinking because the alcohol in your stomach is still being absorbed into your blood stream. So it is possible for your alcohol level to increase after testing. We recommend you test your self at the 20 minute mark, then wait another 10 minutes and test your self again. You will then be able to determine if your alcohol level is decreasing or increasing.

How long must I wait after drinking alcohol before using my AlcoLimit breathalyser?

20 minutes.  If you don't wait 20 minutes then you wont get an accurate reading. It takes 15-20 minutes for alcohol to be absorbed from your stomach to your blood and then comes out in your breath. Also the sensor will be unnecessarily saturated with alcohol vapour, resulting in recalibration (and sensor cleaning) being required earlier than scheduled.

Additionally, within the first 15-20 minutes you still have alcohol residue in your mouth which can make the readings much higher.

I've had 2 drinks in an hour and still get a 0.00 reading on my breathalyser, how is this possible?

Most people will record a low to mid level %BAC, but it is possible for a zero reading to be registered, as on average, a person will eliminate one standard drink of alcohol every hour.  Factors listed above may also speed up the body's processing of alcohol.  
 

Why have my partner and I recorded a different reading when we've had the exactly same amount to drink?

It is possible for 2 people to record differing %BAC even when they consume exactly the same amount of alcohol. Factors that may impact on this include gender, weight, metabolism, age, medications and whether food has been consumed.  Using an AlcoLimit Breathalyser to measure your %BAC will allow you to make informed choices for your body type.

What type of batteries should I use in my breathalyser?

All AlcoLimit Breathalyser models use Alkaline batteries (either AA or AAA). These are included with your initial purchase of the breathalyser.  Always use a high quality brand (eg. Duracell) 1.5v Alkaline battery to get the optimum performance from your breathalyser. Some rechargeable batteries may work but they have various voltages. Rechargeable batteries with 2450 mAh should work fine.

Why does my breathalyser slow down or pause during countdown when I turn it on?

When you first turn your breathalyser on, the countdown indicates the unit is warming the sensor up to  approximately the same temperature as your breath (34 degrees).  This ensures a more accurate measurement of your %BAC.  If the unit has recently been used this may occur faster for subsequent readings. If the countdown becomes excruciatingly slow, return it for recalibration because this indicates there is alcohol residue build up on the sensor.

There is a funny error appearing on the display after my breathalyser counts down, what does this mean?

Some common ERROR messages that may appear on your breathalyser are:
BAT battery warning - replace batteries
SEN or ER4  sensor warning - return to AlcoLimit for servicing/recalibration
FLO  flow error - turn unit on again and ensure you blow a firm consistent breath directly into the mouthpiece until you hear a double beep or click (depending on the model)
Please refer to your instruction manual for further possible error messages.

Can I get my breathalyser calibrated locally (interstate)?

To ensure quality control, all recalibrations and servicing are performed at AlcoLimit Breathalysers head office and service centre in Sydney.  We only use calibrated specialised testing equipment and standardised comparison alcohol fluids to ensure the highest level of accuracy and precision in the recalibration of your AlcoLimit Breathalyser.

Do I have to post my AlcoLimit Breathalyser in for recalibrating?

Our service centre performs recalibration on all of our models and has a fast turn-around of approximately 2 days.
Several of our models have SRS (self-replaceable sensor) technology. This means you can order a pre-calibrated sensor and replace the sensor yourself.  Its quick and easy, and has a simple easy to follow instruction sheet.

Do I still need to have my breathalyser recalibrated at 12 months even though I rarely use it?

To keep your breathalyser in top working order, it should be recalibrated every 200 uses or 12 monthly (whichever comes first) for personal use.  Even if you only use your breathalyser a few times a year, its accuracy may start to drift after 12 months.

 

Please check the specifications for your breathalyser - our newer Fuell Cell models can test up to 1000 times before calibration is due.

I dropped my breathalyser and damaged part of it. Can I get it repaired with a new screen and new battery latch etc?

Yes, all parts can be replaced. Contact our Service centre on 1300 667 661 and speak to a technician for further advice. Many small parts will be replaced free of charge or for a minimal fee to cover our costs.

Why are the mouthpieces I ordered a different shape to the ones that came with my breathalyser?

The mouthpieces we sell are a bit longer and sit tighter in your breathalyser, providing a more accurate flow level. Our customised mouthpieces are more hygienic and don’t fall out while in use.

Can I install an Enforcer 2 sensor into an Enforcer 3 or a Platinum breathalyser?

No you can’t. The sensors for all of these different breathalysers are uniquely designed and calibrated especially for each unit at the time you order your sensor.

Can I clean the sensor in my breathalyser myself?

No you can’t, but you can order a pre-calibrated sensor to install yourself for the models with SRS technology. Other models have to be sent to our service department for recalibration. See our Servicing page for further explanation.

My breathalyser is turning on for a second and then cutting out when I release the button. Why would this be happening if I’ve just put brand new batteries in it?

This occurs when the batteries are carbon batteries which do not give enough power to the unit. Only Alkaline batteries must be used which have 1.5v power.

Why would I be getting an alcohol reading in the morning when I haven’t had a drink the previous night?

You may register a reading after brushing your teeth or using mouthwash because many toothpastes and mouthwashs are alcohol based, especially Listerine. Always wait at least 10 mins after consuming ANYTHING including food or cigarette smoke before using your breathalyser.

How much does a breathalyser cost to recalibrate?

$30 to $85 for personal use models.

 

Check our Servicing page to see how much your model costs (recalibration fees include return express postage)

Can I buy replacement mouthpieces?

Yes.  Mouthpieces are available in packs of 10, 50 or 250. These are available through our website (click here) or in selected retail shops. Next time you send your breathalyser in for its recalibration, order some extra mouthpieces so you always have clean ones on hand.

How do I pay for my recalibration?

To make paying easy you have the following payment options:

 

1) Pay with credit card over the phone on 1300 667 661

2) Pay with credit card via our Paypal link
3) Pay via EFT (please request an invoice and our bank details are at the bottom)

4) Enclose a money order with your breathalyser

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