What is it:
So, you may have seen our review of the Alcosense Excel Breathalyser which we loved, so we thought we would try the entry level version from Alcosense, the Lite 2.
Much as with the Excel version, and in fact any breathalyser, we see the biggest benefit for the 'morning after'. As you can still have alcohol in your system for many hours. We've said before, we would like to think that no one would knowingly drive over the legal limit so having another tool at your disposal to ensure this continues we were excited to try this out.
The Lite 2 breathalyser from AlcoSense is their entry level breathalyser which retails for around £45. In comparison to the Excel breathalyser this uses a Semi-Conductor (19mm2) to detect the alcohol on your breath as apposed to the more accurate fuel cell on the pricier versions.
It comes nicely packaged and contains the digital hand-sized device, batteries, breath tubes and a manual. We would have liked to have seen something to store the device in when not being used, but there is case available to purchase separately. It features an easy-to-read screen which gives you clear results.
When setting up the breathalyser you specify the limit that you would like to set - so this device could be taken with you wherever you go even to another country.
All breathalysers require yearly re-calibration (even Police breathalysers) so you will receive a warning when this is required. We believe this warning starts at around 11 months since the last calibration. AlcoSense offer this service and at time of writing costs £22.99.
To actually perform a breath test, you power on the device and you have to wait for 40 seconds, in that time you can fit the supplied tube into the hole, take a deep breath then steadily exhale for around 8 seconds. You receive an error message if you didn't exhale for long enough or exhaled too hard/ not enough. You are then be presented with the result. Simple.
How we tested it:
We tested the device out over a period of a few weeks under a number of different situations, including having a couple of drinks at night and testing shortly after (but not too soon as it can damage the sensor!), and also having a few more drinks and doing a 'morning after'test.
We Didn't Like:
In most cases you can use common sense to know if you're likely to be close to the legal limit, and in those situations, you should avoid driving at all - as mentioned we see this to be most beneficial when driving the 'morning after'. The peace of mind that a breathalyser can give you to confirm you're not over the legal limit is worth the money, and at only £45 retail it could save you from losing an awful lot if you're caught driving while over the limit.
Overall, it's a great little device, giving you the entry level price point but still giving you an accurate enough reading to be worth using. If you have money available we would probably go for the Excel over the Lite 2, purely for the accuracy, but we would certainly recommend this if you're in the market for a budget breathalyser.