It is no secret that here at Busted Wallet we like to have a good time and indulge in adult beverages from time-to-time. However, we also believe in drinking safely and responsibly. Our friends at BACtrack believe in this same philosophy as they state their mission is to help people monitor their blood alcohol content (BAC) and make informed decisions by providing the industry’s most accurate, innovative, and affordable breath alcohol testing devices.
BACtrack has been manufacturing breathalyzers for over 15 years for consumers, schools, law enforcement, hospitals and many other industries. They have become a leader in the breathalyzer field. Recently we got our hands their new BACtrack Trace Pro. We gave the breathalyzer to our team and told them to report back their findings. You may think that they we gave them a blank check to go out and party, but we were surprised at the results and the behaviors that ensued. Here’s what we discovered…
- Xtend Fuel Cell Sensor Technology
- Optimal Breath Capture
- One Touch Operation
- LCD Screen
- DOT/NHTSA Compliant
- Warranty – All BACtrack breathalyzers are backed by a full one-year warranty
First thing you need to know is that the BACtrack Trace Pro is exactly what it says; Professional. It meets all federal requirements as it is DOT/NHTSA compliant. So, when you use this breathalyzer you are not getting a cheap knock off, you are getting the real deal. When you open the BACtrack package you will be surprised how easily the unit fits in your hand. The design is slick and very streamlined.
Inside the unit is a whole bunch of great technology. Probably the most important piece is the Xtend fuel cell sensor technology. The Xtend uses a linear response to measure BAC over the complete range of alcohol concentrations, from 0.000-0.400 %BAC. Why do you want this in your breathalyzer? Breathalyzers with fuel cell sensors maintain accuracy over a much longer period. Also, they are more likely to produce the same test result in repeated tests. Fuel cell-based testers also require significantly less-frequent re-calibration than semiconductor sensors.
In addition to the Xtend technology, the Trace Pro also features the Optimal Breath Capture. This is a Mini-solenoid internal breath pump that ensures the most accurate and efficient breath capture for testing. The unit is designed to be easy to use as it features a one touch operation that allows you to begin testing in seconds.
If you are investing in a breathalyzer, accuracy reigns supreme. Otherwise, what is the point? It is important to read the instructions when using the unit because you must take your tests much like law enforcement or hospitals in that you have to wait at least 20 minutes between drinks before conducting a test. Also, because this is a pro-grade model you are going to get consistently accurate results at higher BAC concentrations because of the fuel cell design. BACtrack promotes the accuracy at +/- 0.005 at 0.050% BAC.
In all our testing, we followed the instructions and found the results to be amazingly accurate. The most impressive thing was how consistent the results were. For example, if we blew a .12 on the first time and repeated the test multiple times in a few minutes, we were always within a very close range to the original test, if not exactly on it. This instills confidence in the unit right from the beginning of using the unit. While at a college football tailgate we asked the police if we could do a comparison test between their unit and our BACtrack and they politely declined. However, they assured us that this was a top brand and that we could reasonably trust the results and reminded us to never drink and drive regardless of what a unit says.
The most interesting part about having the breathalyzer is learning how alcohol affects your body. For example, we did a test where a male and female couple drank three craft beers. The beers were 7.4 ABV, and drank in the same amount of time. We waited the appropriate amount of time and breathalyzed both. The male blew a .07 BAC and the female blew a .12 BAC. Now, this is not an endorsement that males can drink more females, but what it does is provide knowledge on how you individually can handle alcohol. Everyone is different and the BACtrack Trace Pro allows you to understand that process of how alcohol works in your blood.
The best part of having the unit was not going to the bar and being able to test myself before I got behind the wheel. The best part was confidently knowing what I could and couldn’t drink and be safe. Instead of assuming I was okay, or ordering that next beer and guessing I would be fine, I had hard proof that I was or wasn’t. What I started to see was a change in behavior. Sometimes when you go have some drinks and you drive home, you assume you were fine because you made it home safe. Now, we can modify our behaviors and be more responsible. It was much easier to say no to that next beer because I had used the unit so many times I knew how that beer would affect me.
Priced at $99.99, we believe the BACtrack Trace Pro should be in everyone’s stocking this holiday season or on their birthday lists. The unit is easy to use, is a professional model, and produces extremely accurate results. The only downfall will be the need to re-calibrate every 6-12 months but it will increase the durability of the unit. It’s important to understand that the value of this unit comes in two forms. The first being able to test yourself before you potentially make a bad decision. The second is the knowledge gain you receive and the benefit of understanding how you can modify your drinking habits without the unit present to be more responsible. This type of knowledge is invaluable.
- Very accurate
- Easy to use
- Professional quality at a great price
- Requires regular calibration to keep the accuracy. If you don't you will ruin the unit