Over the Christmas period we all like to enjoy a few drinks, for most of us we will stop after 1 in order to drive home again at the end of the day however are we ever 100% sure of the way that alcohol affects us and our bodies? We may think that the next day we are perfectly fine to jump in the car but are we ever sure this is the case? There are many times I drive home the morning after a few drinks but if I were stopped for whatever reason and breathalised, would I be sure I was under the limit? Now obviously, I am not suggesting for a minute that I would knowingly drive over the limit and after driving for almost 11 years, I’m not going to start now however when I was asked if we would like to try out the recently launched AlcoSense Excel Home Breathalyser, I was quite interested is seeing what the effects of alcohol are on my body and how right I am in thinking that 12 hours after my last alcoholic drink, I can drive home safely knowing the alcohol from the night before has left my system.
AlcoSense was launched in 2007 after 2 years of research and development into home breathalysers. Since then these devices have stopped over 50% of its customers from unintentionally drink driving the morning after, most likely saving lives in the process! There are a range of home breathalysers that have been developed by Alcosense, all winning awards for their housing design but their latest product, launched in November, the Excel has been crowned as the best self-testing breathalyser and ‘Best Buy’ by Auto Express Magazine.
A breathalyser is used by blowing for a number of seconds straight into a tube connected to the breathalyser unit. The unit then measures how much alcohol is in your body and gives a reading to indicate whether you are over or under the drink drive limit for your country. Everyone is different and alcohol effects people in different ways so self-breathalysing is a great way to see how it has affected you personally. The AlcoSense Excel boasts a number of world firsts for a sub £100 breathalyser; it has a 64mm2 version of exactly the same Fuel Cell sensor used by Police breathalysers, it is almost twice as accurate as the Elite version, has a 48mm full colour TFT screen, includes a re-calibration alert, and works with any drink drive limit in the world!
The AlcoSense Excel’s sensor is identical to the one used by the Police however it is smaller so has unrivalled accuracy and reliability for the price. Most breathalysers at the Excel’s price point rely on using a timer to estimate when 1 litre of air has been blown into the tube however people blow at different rates so the measurements taken can be unreliable. The Excel senses the volume of air exhaled during the test and takes a reading only when 1 litre has been exhaled, ensuring the most accurate and reliable sample is taken.
The on-screen menu system of the Excel is really simple and easy to use. You can set any drink drive limit depending on where you are in the world as limits are different depending on where you are. You can change to units of measure between breath alcohol and blood alcohol readings as well as the blood breath ratio. When you are using the Excel, the instructions are really clear and the prompts easy to follow. The screen is a full colour 48mm TFT screen which gives really clear and detailed readings; very simple to understand as green means you are fine, yellow means you are nearing the set drink drive limit and red means you are over the drink drive limit. This colour system means there is no confusion over what the readings are telling you!
The Excel stores your last 24 readings in its memory so you can review them later if you want or need to. Any breathalsyer requires re-calibration after a period of use; the Excel is the first of its kind to remind you to re-calibrate the unit after 11 months of use. You just send it back to AlcoSense and they re-calibrate it and return it to you within 5 working days.
I would like to point out that in no way is the AlcoSense Excel a substitute for common sense and definitely should not be used to see how many drinks you can have before driving home from the office party! It should simply be used to safely check that any alcohol you had the night before is clear from your system before you attempt to drive home! We found the AlcoSense Excel really useful and will definitely be using it in the future. At £99.99 available from AlcoSense or Halfords, it really is a great home breathalyser. It was really useful to check after a night out whether I was ok to go and pick Mia up the next day in the car. It gives us peace of mind and although we are not big drinkers by any means, it’s a really useful piece of kit to have around and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know 100% they are ok to drive.
Disclaimer: we were sent a unit in order to write this review however all opinions and views are honest and our own.