Are you getting the most out of your BACtrack? Here are 7 ways to maximize the value of your breathalyzer.
1. Review the user manual. If you haven’t done so already, this is a great place to begin to get to know your BACtrack better. There’s lots of important information packed into those small booklets, including how to properly use your breathalyzer, how to access advanced features (for certain units), and dose specific effects for certain BAC levels.
2. Wait 15 minutes after drinking to test. This is probably the most important rule to follow if you want to get accurate BAC results, for several reasons. First, depending on the speed of your metabolism, it may take 15 minutes (or more) for the alcohol to be absorbed into your bloodstream. Until it is fully absorbed, the breathalyzer cannot give you an accurate estimate of your BAC. Second, after you take a drink of alcohol, the air in your mouth and throat is laden with the substance. If you were to breathe into a breathalyzer right after drinking a shot, for example, your BAC estimate would be very high—and also very inaccurate. Waiting 15 minutes allows the air in your mouth and throat to return to a normal level.
Waiting 15 minutes after drinking to test someone is probably the most important rule to follow if you want to get accurate BAC results.
3. Test yourself every time you drink. The more you test yourself, the more aware you are of how alcohol affects your body. You can see this in action especially when you use a BACtrack Smartphone Breathalyzer using the Guess Your BAC feature. Overtime, you begin to see that your guesses naturally get closer and closer to your actual BAC. But even if you are not using a Smartphone Breathalyzer, the very act of stopping and testing yourself is often the moment of clarity you need to put things in perspective, and make a more informed decision.
4. Encourage others to use your BACtrack. Testing your BAC during the midst of a dinner or a night of drinking, you get the benefit of a moment of clarity. By pausing, waiting the requisite 15 minutes, and then testing yourself, you can re-calibrate. Is it time to slow down, switch to water, call a cab? But not everyone has a BACtrack. Could someone else you are out with use a moment of clarity? Be the responsible one, whip out a replaceable mouthpiece, and encourage a loved one to check in on their alcohol level. They’ll thank you in the morning.
5. Use your BACtrack at least once a month. Regular use greatly improves BACtrack Breathalyzer performance. The reason for this is that if your BACtrack has not been used for an extended period of time (3 weeks or more), the sensor may begin to dry out. In order to maximize accuracy, clean the sensor by performing a test every few weeks, even if you don't intend on using it. Whether or not alcohol is present on the breath for the sensor cleaning doesn’t matter. The moisture in your breath keeps the sensor performing optimally.
Regular use greatly improves BACtrack Breathalyzer performance. If your BACtrack has not been used in the last 3 weeks or more, clean the sensor by performing a test, even if you don't intend on using it.
6. Get your BACtrack calibrated regularly. Over time, all alcohol testers need to be calibrated to maintain accuracy, even police units. For the Professional Grade BACtracks, such as the S80, Element and BACtrack Mobile, we recommend that you send them in for calibration about once a year. Non-professional grade breathalyzers, such as the BACtrack S35, and BACtrack Go, all have Advanced MicroCheck® Sensors, for which we recommend calibration about once every six to eight months. More information on Breathalyzer Calibration.
7. Keep your BACtrack App up to date. If you are using a BACtrack Smartphone Breathalyzer, be sure to check in for app updates regularly. We are constantly refining and improving the app to work best for you, adding new features, making improvements, and adding new functionality for new smartphones. If you experience any kind of hiccups with the app or smartphone breathalyzer connectivity, this should be the first place to begin troubleshooting.
Please feel free to contact BACtrack Customer Support with any questions or issues you may have. We are here to help!