One of the reasons drunk driving charges are so common is that it can be difficult to discern whether you’re over the legal limit to drive. You might feel perfectly fine, but when the police see your vehicle swerving down the road, they may feel otherwise. Personal breath test devices could help solve the problem of figuring out your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) before you put your license at risk.

Numerous companies manufacture relatively inexpensive devices you can use to perform a self-breath test. At best, these devices can provide you with a very rough estimate of your BAC. At worst, they could give you a false sense of security, which could be shattered as soon as you’re placed in handcuffs.

Scientific pieces of equipment are sensitive pieces of equipment

All breath test machines are sensitive pieces of equipment. It doesn’t matter whether it resides on your keychain or is housed at the police station. Determining a person’s BAC from their exhalations is a complicated business. Machines need proper maintenance and calibration to help ensure accurate results.

If you intend to rely on a personal breath test device as something more than a novelty, you will want to treat it as the sensitive piece of equipment it is. Proper storage is essential. A device that bounces around your glove box or in your pocket is probably not going to provide you with the most accurate results. Some devices may require regular software updates. You should also be aware that the way in which you administer a test is likely much different from the way law enforcement would administer a test.

Even professional setups may be less than reliable

Reliability questions have surrounded breathalyzer machines in recent years. Improper maintenance or operation of professional machines can lead to inaccurate readings. As such, you should probably treat your personal breath test device as something fun to bring out at parties. Relying on it to tell you whether you should drive is not wise. If you find yourself arrested for suspicion of drunk driving, get in touch with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.