Levels of alcohol concentration in the bloodstream are often measured by administering a breathalyzer test. The device used by law enforcement is portable and accurate, and gives almost immediate results. If you get pulled over while driving and are suspected of being drunk, you will almost certainly be given one of these tests.
You will be instructed to exhale into a device that is attached to a breath collection chamber. The chamber has a scale on it to measure a percentage of alcohol to blood, to determine the level of inebriation. The percentage must be below .08% or else you, the driver, will go to jail.
A person’s blood absorbs alcohol rapidly and that alcohol is stored for several hours after drinking in the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines.
Obviously, the most accessible area of those mentioned above, is the mouth; thus, the use of breathalyzers makes sense as one of the quickest and most accurate parts of an alcohol detection program. It is non-invasive and gives a result that is 99% accurate.
The first alcohol breath tester was invented in 1948 and called the Drunkometer. It was comprised of two chambers and six wires. But it was not very portable, and the device required highly-trained personnel to interpret the results.
In 1952, a medical police officer refined this device and renamed it the “Breathalyzer”. It was less cumbersome and the results were easier to determine.
Today’s kits are so portable that most national, state and local law enforcement officers carry one in their squad cars for on-the-spot alcohol detection. And since the comparison scale is easier to read, no specialized training is needed to read the results.
Unfortunately for some people, breathalyzers are here to stay. There is no mint or mouthwash strong enough to change the blood alcohol level that will be shown in the collection chamber.
But there is one surefire way to beat the alcohol test: don’t drink.