I’m someone who loves a drink, pass me a Prosecco and you’ve got a friend for life, but when I go out of an evening and know I’ve got to drive home I always make the decision to have no alcohol at all, rather than risk being over the limit.
The current drink drive limit in the UK is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, or 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. Right…OK…but what does that actually mean in terms of how much you can drink. I mean are we talking a couple of glasses of wine, just the one pint of beer, and what about shots..? Well this is where it gets tricky, because alcohol affects everybody differently and is dependent on not only personal factors such as weight, age, sex and metabolism, but also on the type and amount of alcohol you’ve drunk, whether you’ve eaten recently, and even how stressed you are.
Ultimately, there is no safer option than to abstain from alcohol altogether when driving, but I get that sometimes things don’t necessarily go to plan and you might fancy a glass of something a bit stronger than a diet coke, plus there’s always the morning after to consider as well!
This handy pocket sized alcohol breath tester from Maplins offers the ideal solution and could quite literally be the difference between life and death. First off it’s a key ring, which means you can attach it to your car keys and that way there’s no getting out of it. And it’s soooooooo ridiculously simple to use, that even if you have had a skinful and you’re trying to convince yourself you’d be more than capable to drive you and your mates home, a quick go on this device and you’re gonna be lining up at the taxi rank quicker than it takes you to down a Jägerbomb.
To use the device you simply press and hold the power button for the whole time you are taking the test, a green light will come on to let you know it’s working, and then you just breathe into the vent at the top of the device. The test result shows up on the LED screen within a few seconds and it’s important to take into account that the best (most accurate) results are achieved at least half an hour after drinking, giving the alcohol enough time to enter the bloodstream.
The results are presented using a coloured traffic light system to tell you what’s what – green (under 0.02%) yep you’re fine, amber (0.02%) best be careful, red (0.05%) no way josé don’t even think about getting in the drivers seat. Honestly, it could probably do with having a bit more of an explanation included with the instructions as to what this info means, but for me I would only ever consider driving if I saw that green light.
There are also the added features of an integrated LED torch to help you see the results when it’s dark (although the light system does a decent enough job of that anyway, so I’m not entirely sure of the point of this) and a 60 minutes count down and count up timer with alarm (again not entirely sure of the purpose of this, but a geeky gadgety extra none the less).
The best thing about this device is that it takes away the umming and ahhing of whether you think you’re safe to drive or not. If you’re drinking of an evening, then the chances are you’re probably more likely to know whether you’re too drunk to drive, but if you’ve had a particularly alcohol heavy night then wake up the next morning ready to hop in the car to drive to work there’s every chance you could still be over the limit and this device will be sure to let you know.
The alcohol breath tester requires 2 AAA batteries, costs £9.99 and is available to buy from the Maplins website.
*Product gifted for review