Portable breathalyzers tested against police unit

Posted at 11:25 PM, Sep 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-02 18:08:06-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- 10News put a handful of personal breathalyzers to an unscientific test, comparing the results with the actual breathalyzer the San Diego Police Department uses.

We went to Safehouse Bar and Restaurant in North Park and asked drinking patrons at random if they would participate.

Three, in varying stages of intoxication, said yes.

San Diego Police Ofc. Emiliano Ramirez, who conducts DUI checkpoints for SDPD, administered his own breathalyzer test at the same time.

While some of the personal breathalyzers matched the police breathalyzer some of the time.

But, in our unscientific experiment, none were consistently accurate.

10News reached out to the three makers of the personal breathalyzers we used.

BACtrack responded with this statement:

"The KGTV results are not valid nor accurate because test subjects did not wait 20 minutes after drinking alcohol before blowing into the breathalyzer, as clearly stated in the instruction manuals. 

The accuracy of BACtrack products has been independently verified and confirmed by numerous third-party organizations, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Nonetheless, we appreciate KGTV’s spotlight on alcohol safety and the dangers of impaired driving."  

10News will update the story with the responses of the other makers when they respond.