Alcosense: Your Own Alcohol Breath Testing Device
Not getting into a car or other vehicle after drinking alcohol is crucial. But what about when you've had a light beer? Or a glass of cider with low alcohol content? What about the next day? Is it okay to get behind the wheel in the morning the next day when you've had a couple of strong beers the night before?
An alcohol meter is an instrument the police use to see if the person they have stopped has alcohol in their blood, but you as a private person can also use it to see if you can legally put yourself behind the wheel the day after that party. But watch out! Many alco meters are unreliable and show completely wrong results! It is essential that you read the specifications before you buy any, to make sure you are not fooled. Feel free to talk to people who know a lot about alcohol meters too. The alcohol meter you choose should be approved according to any of the industry standards.
If you want to be sure that it is okay to drive a vehicle, both from a moral and legal point of view, an alcohol meter is an excellent tool. We have tested three different models from Alcosense; Alcosense Excel, Alcosense Pro, and Alcosense Ultra.
All three are easy to use and precise, but more or less expensive. As a reference, we have used the professional meter Dräger 6820, just as in our previous comparative test of alcohol meters.
Easy to use
All three altco meters are nicely and educationally designed and very easy to use. After inserting the batteries and keying in date and country settings and more, just start and blow. The result is then presented directly on the clear color screen.
The big difference between the three different models we tested is the size of the battery. The principle is that the larger the battery, the more precise and smooth the results will be. The cheapest meter Alcosense Excel has a battery of 64 mm2, the intermediate model Alcosense Pro has a battery of 121 mm2 and the top model Alcosense Ultra has a battery of 200 mm2.
This is also noticeable in the results compared to the reference meter Dräger 6820. On average, Alcosense Excel gives measurement results that are 0.09 from the reference model, Alcosense Pro’s result is 0.04 from, and Alcosense Ultra is only 0.02 from. The more expensive meters and larger fuel cells, the more reliable the results in other words. However, all results may be considered to be within an acceptable margin of error, but if you want a better precision, you have to pay for it.
And it should be pointed out that the results from Alcosense meters are never lower than those from the reference model, only higher (or exactly the same).
There are also some other minor differences between the models. For example, Excel has a smaller memory for previous test results and lacks guidance on blow-ins. It also cannot show the estimated remaining time until it is okay to drive a vehicle again. Ultra can be connected to a computer to store test results on it, has more included nozzles, and an included case to store the meter in.
The only real drawback with the meters is the price. 159 EUR for the cheapest model Alcosense Excel, up to 328 EUR for Alcosense Ultra is a lot of money. Add to that the cost of extra nozzles (only five included for Excel and Pro, 100 for Ultra) and calibration once a year for 37 EUR, so the price will be high.
On the other hand, the precision is so high, especially for the Pro and Ultra models, that despite the high price, they are still affordable and receive a recommendation.
Product: Alcosense Excel, Alcosense Pro and Alcosense Ultra.
Tested: January 2020.
Manufacturer/contact: Alcosense, alcosense.se .
Fuel cell: 64 mm2 (Alcosense Excel), 121 mm2 (Alcosense Pro), 200 mm2 (Alcosense Ultra).
Cost calibration: SEK 400 (+125 for faster handling).
Display: 1.8 inch color display.
Price: 159 EUR (Alcosense Excel), 187 (Alcosense Pro) and 328 EUR