Breathalyzer Calibration – An Essential Step for Ignition Interlocks

Recent news articles have brought attention to the need for regular calibration of devices that measure breath alcohol concentration (BrAC).  Ignition interlocks, or in car breathalyzers, are no exception.

Alcohol measurement is a delicate process. A breathalyzer of any kind must be tested and adjusted regularly to ensure that the mechanism’s sensitivity to alcohol is not too low or high.   The part of the alcohol testing device that is calibrated is call the fuel cell.  This component is designed to specifically detect ethanol and can be adjusted for specificity.    Usually, calibration is done by exposing the breathalyzer to a alcohol vapors of a precise and pre-determined concentration, and adjusting the breathalyzer or ignition interlock device so that it reflects that amount of alcohol.

If you require an ignition interlock on your vehicle,  the mechanism it uses to calculate your BrAC  is similar to a police breathalyzer, using the same fuel cell technology to detect alcohol.

When you bring in your vehicle for regular monitoring, the technician will calibrate the interlock device to make sure that it’s registering alcohol vapors accurately. State regulations determine exactly how accurate the ignition interlock must be, and technicians are required to test and calibrate every single device that comes in for monitoring.  At LifeSafer, we also repeatedly calibrate and thoroughly test every unit  before we send it out to the field for use in your vehicle.   We know how important it is to get an accurate reading every time.

It is so important to keep your regular ignition interlock monitoring appointment – car breathalyzer calibration ensures that your interlock is properly reading your breath sample.  It’s also why newer devices, like mobile phone add on breathalyzers, can be unreliable.  Any device that isn’t regularly calibrated can lead to false readings, and states have strict rules on calibrating any device that can be used in court proceedings.

At LifeSafer Ignition Interlock, we make it as convenient as possible to keep your device calibrated.  We send email appointment reminders and our customer contact center lets you speak with a real human to re-schedule any appointment easily and efficiently.