The 8 Best Breathalyzers of 2020

Make sure you're legally allowed to get behind the wheel

Best Overall: BACtrack S80 Pro Tester Breathalyzer

Considered one of the best breathalyzers on the market, the BACtrack S80 Pro Tester has full approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Measuring 2.3 x 0.8 x 4.8 inches, the use of fuel sensor technology allows the S80 to produce breathalyzer results in under 10 seconds. Activating the test is a one-touch operation that allows accuracy within 0.0000 to 0.4000 percent BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) and works well even for testers who use it repeatedly in a short time frame. The fuel cell sensors mean the S80 can last for thousands of tests and it's backed by a one-year warranty. It requires calibration only once every 365 days.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: BACtrack Trace Portable Breathalyzer

Capable of remembering your previous test results, the BACtrack Trace is another standout portable breathalyzer. Sized just right for a purse or pocket at 4.2 x 1.9 x 0.6 inches, the Trace is well regarded by users for its police-grade sensor technology and incredible accuracy that can score anywhere between a 0.000 to .4000 BAC. The Trace and its one-touch operation are powered by two AAA batteries and provide hours of use; each test takes just 15 seconds to complete. The built-in memory allows the Trace to record and save the last 10 BAC readings for later referencing by the user. Additional features include user-adjustable warning levels, continuous temperature checking and a mini-solenoid breath pump system.

Best Self-Calibrating: AlcoMate Premium AL7000 Professional Breathalyzer with PRISM Technology

Whereas most portable breathalyzers need calibration once a year that requires them to be sent in for servicing, the AlcoMate Premium AL7000 has introduced "PRISM technology" for self-calibration. Users of the AL7000 can replace the sensor module on their own and get right back to utilizing the four-digit LCD display with one-button operation. Powered by two AA batteries, the AL700 measures a highly portable 4 x 2 x 0.8 inches and comes with a heavy-duty case and car adapter in case you need to recharge on the go. Approved by the US Department of Transportation and U.S. Navy, customers widely praise the accuracy of the AL700.

Best Smart: BACtrack Mobile Smartphone Breathalyzer for iPhone and Android Devices

Compact and rechargeable, the BACtrack Mobile Smartphone Breathalyzer is a must own for the user who wants something that connects directly to their smartphone. Compatible with both Android and iOS devices, the BACtrack offers police-grade accuracy powered by the company's fuel cell sensor that goes to the third decimal point. Wirelessly connecting to your smartphone, the BACtrack will also estimate the amount of time it will take to return your BAC to 0.00%, so you're safe to drive.

Additionally, the BACtrack iOS app works with the Apple Watch for seeing results directly on your wrist and on your smartphone at the same time. Measuring 1.8 x 0.6 x 2.8 inches in size, the BAC connects via Bluetooth and offers a privacy setting to prevent anyone from seeing your results. As an added bonus, the BACtrack adds the ability to share readings privately via text message to a friend or family member alongside photos, location and time.

Best Budget: Oasser Alcohol Tester Breathalyzer

Powered by three AAA batteries, the Oasser Portable Alcohol tester is a snap to use and is extremely portable at just 4.3 x .08 x 2.4 inches. Capable of detecting a BAC between 0.01 to 0.2% BAC, the Oasser offers an immediate alert if it detects if your BAC is too high to get behind the wheel. While it suggests that you wait at least 15 minutes after your last drink, results of the test come back in less than 30 seconds from the time you power on till the exact BAC result is displayed. The advanced semiconductor technology ensures accuracy and, with one button operation, setting the Oasser up to test takes seconds. It comes with four mouthpieces and conserves battery life by automatically turning off after three minutes of no activity.

Best Accuracy: AlcoMate Revo TS200 Professional Breathalyzer

Don't let the price tag of the AlcoMate Revo TS200 Professional deter you. The AlcoMate is worth every penny. The company's PRISM technology measures a nearly unrivaled accuracy that has won over users across the country. The TS2000 stands out from the crowd for not needing to be sent in for sensor replacement since the AlcoMate allows TS200 owners to make the change on their own in seconds by popping out the old sensor and popping in the new sensor. It's approved by the Department of Transportation, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy for accuracy (+/-0.005 at 0.10 grams per deciliter)

Best Response Time: EEK-Brand Professional Digital Breathalyzer

Measuring 5.5 x 1.9 x 0.8 inches, the Aoxin Professional Digital Breathalyzer is a must-own for anyone looking for a combination of strong accuracy and wallet-friendly pricing. The one-touch button operation fits well with the compact design and it comes with enough storage to fit five of the 10 mouthpieces that Aoxin includes. Accurate to a BAC between 0.05 and 0.5%, the Aoxin even declares its accuracy is strong enough to detect whether or not a breastfeeding mother has a safe BAC level to pump for a child.

Powered by three AAA batteries, the Aoxin shuts off automatically five seconds after a test completes and the battery life is strong enough to last for up to 200 tests overall. With a response time of under five seconds, Aoxin recommends that testers wait at least 20 minutes after the last drink for the most accurate results.

Best Value: AlcoHAWK PT500 Breathalyzer

The AlcoHAWK PT500 Portable Breathalyzer ensures an accuracy of 0.000 to 0.4000% BAC and features audible and visual warnings that alert the tester if they are not in any condition to get behind the wheel. Accuracy is boosted by the inclusion of fuel cell sensors that meet the U.S. Department of Transportation standards and are designed to last for over 1,000 use cases before requiring recalibration. Available with 10 mouthpieces right out of the box, the easy-to-read LCD adds a backlit display for absolutely no room for error even in low light conditions. Powered by two AA batteries, the PT500 can last for hundreds of uses before requiring battery replacement, while a one-year warranty adds peace of mind.

What to Look for in a Breathalyzer

Sensor modules - Most personal breathalyzers need to be calibrated on a regular basis. If you want to be sure that your breathalyzer is always accurate, without messing around with complicated calibration procedures, look for one that uses replaceable sensor modules.

Passive vs. active - For the highest accuracy possible, look for an active breathalyzer that requires you to breathe into a plastic mouthpiece. Passive breathalyzers that you blow across, rather than into, are more likely to show inaccurate results.

Replaceable mouthpieces - If you choose an active breathalyzer, keep in mind that you’ll need to replace its plastic mouthpiece with every use if you want the most accurate results. If you don’t remember to keep a supply of mouthpieces on hand, you may not be able to use your breathalyzer when you need it. Look for a model with affordable, readily available mouthpieces to keep the costs down.