The 8 Best Breathalyzers of 2019

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

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: BACtrack S80 Pro Tester Breathalyzer at Amazon

"Works well even for testers who use it repeatedly in a short time frame."

Runner-Up, Best Overall: BACtrack Portable Breathalyzer at Amazon

"Well-regarded by users for its police-grade sensor technology and incredible accuracy."

Best Self-Calibrating: AlcoMate Professional Breathalyzer at Amazon

"Users can replace the sensor module on their own and get right back to the four-digit LCD display."

Best Smart: BACtrack Mobile Smartphone Breathalyzer at Amazon

"Will also estimate the amount of time it will take to return your BAC to 0.00%, so you're safe to drive."

Best Budget: Oasser Alcohol Tester Breathalyzer at Amazon

"Is a snap to use and extremely portable at just 4.3 x .08 x 2.4 inches."

Best Accuracy: AlcoMate Revo TS200 Breathalyzer at Amazon

"PRISM technology measures a nearly unrivaled accuracy that has won over users across the country."

Best Response Time: Aoxin Digital Breathalyzer at Amazon

"A must-own for anyone looking for a combination of strong accuracy and wallet-friendly pricing."

Best Value: AlcoHAWK PT500 Portable Breathalyzer at Amazon

"Designed to last for over 1,000 use cases before requiring recalibration."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: BACtrack S80 Pro Tester Breathalyzer

BACtrack S80 Professional Breathalyzer, Portable Breath Alcohol Tester
Courtesy of Amazon
4.8

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

4.7

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

4.8

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

Smartphone breathalyzer

Courtesy of Walmart

3.8

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

AlcoMate

Courtesy of Amazon 

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: Aoxin 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 Portable 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.

Tested by

How We Tested

We bought four top-rated breathalyzers that our reviewers tested multiple times over the course of several weeks. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these breathalyzers, from their accuracy to their price. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

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.

Test Results: BACtrack S80 Pro Tester Breathalyzer (Best Overall)

4.8

What We Like

  • Professional-grade accuracy

  • Saves last 10 readings for comparison

  • Easy to use

What We Don't Like

  • Sensor will eventually need calibration

  • Not the most portable

  • Doesn’t connect with phones or other devices

Lifewire 
BACtrack S80 Pro Tester Breathalyzer
BACtrack Pro Tester Breathalyzer
BACtrack S80 Breathalyzer
BACtrack S80 Tester Breathalyzer
BACtrack Breathalyzer

“The only real thing that matters with these devices is that they're accurate,” our tester said, “and the S80 is pretty much the best in this area.” Beyond accuracy, our review liked the built-in memory feature that allows you to compare your last 10 readings. The negatives? “The biggest gripe is probably that the sensor will eventually die, and then you have to send it in for replacement,” our tester commented. He also said, “The S80 isn't as portable as some other models/breathalyzers, and it also lacks the ability to connect with phones or devices.” Still, our tester highly recommended this “simple-to-use” breathalyzer, calling it an “accurate workhorse” at a “fair” price.

Test Results: BACtrack Trace Portable Breathalyzer (Runner-Up, Best Overall)

4.7

What We Like

  • Convenient one-touch operation

  • Affordable

  • Portable

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn’t connect to phones or other devices

  • Not as accurate as some higher-end models

  • Not super durable

Lifewire 
BACtrack Trace Breathalyzer
Lifewire 
BACtrack Trace Breathalyzer
Lifewire 
BACtrack Trace Breathalyzer
Lifewire
BACtrack Trace Breathalyzer
Lifewire
BACtrack Portable Breathalyzer
BACtrack Breathalyzer
BACtrack

Our tester recommended the BACtrack Trace as “a solid choice for most,” describing it as “more portable than BACtrack’s S80 and nearly as accurate.” While he said it’s a “breeze to use,” our reviewer noted it lacks connectivity to phones and other devices and also has a “sub-par build quality.” However, he concluded, “If you want to get a device that feels a little newer and more modern, the Trace is cheaper, but still pretty accurate compared to the competition.”

Test Results: AlcoMate Premium AL7000 Professional Breathalyzer (Best Self-Calibrating)

4.8

What We Like

  • Compact and portable

  • Replaceable sensors

  • Extremely accurate

What We Don't Like

  • Pricey

  • Lengthy warm-up time

  • Sensors need to be replaced often

Lifewire 
AlcoMate AL7000 Breathalyzer
 Lifewire
AlcoMate AL7000 Breathalyzer
Lifewire 
AlcoMate AL7000 Breathalyzer
Lifewire 
AlcoMate Premium AL7000 Breathalyzer
AlcoMate Premium AL7000
AlcoMate AL7000 Professional Breathalyzer

“The AL7000 has a nice compact size and carrying pouch and just feels a lot better or ‘premium’ than the other breathalyzers I tested,” our tester raved. He also liked that you don’t need to recalibrate the sensors and instead can order new ones—although if you don’t replace them routinely accuracy will diminish, he noted. The downsides? Our reviewer said, “It does take longer to warm up before testing when compared to competitors, but the biggest negative for most will probably be that it's more expensive compared to competition.” In the end, our tester deemed it “worth the price,” though, based on its quality design and “accurate, consistent results.”

Test Results: BACtrack Mobile Smartphone Breathalyzer (Best Smart)

3.8

What We Like

  • Super compact

  • Connects to your smartphone

  • Lots of useful features

What We Don't Like

  • App is clunky

  • Some Bluetooth connectivity issues

  • Not as accurate as other devices

Lifewire 
BACtrack Smartphone Breathalyzer
 Lifewire
BACtrack Smartphone Breathalyzer
 Lifewire
BACtrack Smartphone Breathalyzer
Lifewire

Our tester liked this breathalyzer for its unique smart features: “It's cool how it connects to your smartphone, adding features you just can’t get with other breathalyzers on the market,” he said. While some of the app’s social media options he found a bit strange, there are useful ones like calling an Uber directly inside the app. According to our reviewer, in addition to the app crashing often, the main downfall of this device is a lack of accuracy. The takeaway? “I think if you're just looking for something to play around with and test out your friends, it's perfect for that,” our tester explained.