7th AlcoSense One
Best Price: 19.99 (digiworld4u.co.uk)
Sensor: Semi-conductive oxide
For: Bargain price; reasonable laboratory results
Against: Could under-read in real world scenarios
Accuracy: Even though the AlcoSense One posted impressive results in our laboratory tests, our experts have reservations about its accuracy in real world scenarios. The unit's design means it could potentially under-read the amount of alcohol in your system. All the other breathalysers we tested use a tube to direct a pure sample of breath across a sensor, but the One does not. Instead, the user blows in the direction of a sensor bringing the potential for ambient air to mix with breath and the device to under-read. The device performed well in our tests, but each simulated breath sample was an ideal distance from the unit, from a regulated air supply, and controlled by sober people.
Value for Money: A bargain price, but not for serious use.
Ease of Use: The One is quite compact and nicely designed. The instructions were clear, but left wanting in the crucial element of exactly how to blow across the sensor. The device was easy to set up with simple on-screen instructions. Results were displayed immediately and clearly.
Owning: The AlcoSense One cant be recalibrated. An annual check (for 9.99) can confirm whether the device is still within calibration, but if it is not, a new unit is needed. AlcoSense will charge you a further 10 meaning at worst you will have paid 19.99 for a new unit.