For the time being, drinking socially may be on the back burner, but many people will still be enjoying some beers or wine at home, and some will inevitably will be making an early morning dash to the supermarket for essential supplies or still have to drive to work the next morning. Having a reliable, clear, and accurate means of testing the alcohol levels present, thereby making an informed decision whether or not to take to the wheel is undeniably life saving. The AlcoSense Elite 3 seems to be all of those things. What better than a ‘traffic light’ system to indicate whether you are green (<0.10%, safe to drive), red (over the set limit, NOT safe to drive) or amber (>0.10%, below set limit). The red also features a road warning sign style icon, so users with colour blindness or difficulty comprehending figures are both covered. The breathalyser arrived with comprehensive information so there is absolutely no second guessing, and I understand the semi-conductor alcohol sensor to be the go-to reliable method, in terms of both accuracy and longevity. All I needed to do was ensure I had set the appropriate limit – in our case for England/Wales, 0.80% – before inserting a blow tube (easy), and providing a steady breath when prompted, for 6 seconds (not so easy as it sounds). I advise practising this first, as it is the deep lung air that provides the accuracy, and if your breath is too short, you’re prompted to try again. Once provided with a successful breath, the result takes seconds.
I didn’t intend to binge in order to test the reliability of the Elite 3, instead I roped in family members to indulge (much to my husband’s delight), abstain (easy – my son did that), while I took the middle ground, enjoying two large glasses of wine. The immediate results were clear – both showed readings over the limit, and lit red, while my son’s read ‘LO’, and lit up green. I noted that is NOT permission to drive, because he is 14! Neither of us was willing to overindulge for the purpose of the review, thus both our tests showed driving was advisable the following morning. I imagine this would not be the case after a late or prolonged night drinking. Note the blow tubes do need to be purchased separately. These retail at £4.99 for 20, which ought to last a while as those who consider driving the next morning are hopefully not also regular drinkers. The unit itself is pocket-sized, so you can even take it out with you to settle that argument with the friend who has ‘just had a couple’ and insists they can drive, so you can ensure they get home safely.
There is nothing I wouldn’t recommend about this product, provided drivers heed the age-old advice: ‘It’s a LIMIT, not a TARGET!’
Impossible to misinterpret
Blow tubes sold separately
4.5 stars out of 5