Although breathalyzers are associated with police traffic stops, they are also used in sensitive environments like hospitals, nuclear power installations, and in the military – to make sure everyone is clearheaded. Many consumers also like to keep tabs on their alcohol intake, so easy to use breathalyzers are becoming quite popular. AK GlobalTech, a maker of a variety of breathalyzers for different applications, sent us their AlcoMate Revo portable breathalyzer to check out and review. We took on this challenge and popped open a bottle of beer.
Opening the shipping box it came in, we were a bit startled by the large carrying case, thinking the device inside will be bulky. Instead the actual breathalyzer is small, slick, light. It’s about the size of an iPod, but considerably lighter. It has only one button and a simple display on the front. A hole on the side is where the disposable mouthpiece goes.
In the rear of the AlcoMate Revo is a battery compartment which takes two AAA batteries and just above them is the Pre-calibrated Replaceable Intelligent Sensor Module (PRISM). This is what makes AlcoMate so unique in the industry because unlike nearly all other breathalyzers on the market, AlcoMate’s PRISM technology does not require you to send in the breathalyzer in for calibration every few months. Instead, once the old sensor cartridge expires, you simply throw it out and pop in a new one. This means that the breathalyzer is always available and is calibrated as well as at the factory.
Using it is as easy as pie. Simply press on the power button, wait for it to read out “BLOW” on the display and blow into the mouthpiece. It doesn’t have to be particularly strong (much easier than the previous breathalyzer we reviewed). It sounds a continuous beep as you blow followed by a click that you can hear and feel once the test is complete. If there’s not enough air pressure in your blow, the device will sound a beep and will say “FLOW” on the display.
We took the AlcoMate Revo for a night out on the town and in our tests with three people the results were showing up in about 10 – 15 seconds if there was some alcohol detected and nearly instantaneously with the person that had nothing to drink. The results were also consistent, providing nearly the same blood alcohol content (BAC) estimates in repeated tests. Not having another breathalyzer on hand we were not able to check the accuracy of the Revo, but we can tell you that the person who was measuring .088 BAC was reporting being buzzed, while the subject at .125 BAC was giggling about how he’s certifiably drunk. Regardless of our limitations, the AlcoMate Revo is approved by the Department of Transportation for use by police officers and has an accuracy of +/-0.005 at 0.10 g/dL.
Overall we thought the AlcoMate Revo is a pretty cool breathalyzer, as far as breathalyzers go. It doesn’t have any smart functions like being able to connect to a smartphone to store readings, but we didn’t seem to miss that. It’s designed for quick and easy blood alcohol readings, and it does that quite well while being a bit cute and small enough to keep handy in a car’s glove compartment.
Features and specs according to the product page:
- Pre-calibrated Replaceable Intelligent Sensor Module (PRISM) Technology
- DOT Approved for Law Enforcement: Accuracy +/-0.005 at 0.10 g/dL
- Fuel-Cell Sensor for Maximum Precision
- US Coast Guard Approved
- 4-Digit LCD Results Display
- Active Pressure Sensor / Deep Lung Air Sampling
- Cumulative Test Counter
- Low Battery Indicator / Auto Power-Off
Product page: AlcoMate Revo…