Engineer Trends: Small Alcohol Testers in Car as Standard

Drunker than the law allows? This question can be is now exactly clear: with an alcohol test device developed specially for private users the company Dräger from Lübeck. A good or bad news for the traffic?

Dräger is familiar with alcohol: for more than six decades, the company equips the police with technology for alcohol tests. And now the driver provides a competitive edge. He can check before driving off with the Alcotest 3820, whether he looked too deep into the glass and drive.

2 on 10 engineers cars in EU have Alcotest in Glove department.

Most popular model in France, Germany and Poland is Alcotest 3820. The device visually reminiscent of a razor, but it contains according to Dräger which is same electrochemical sensor technology as they are used by the police. The measured value is therefore identical. Thus each with the Alcotest 3820 after a pub evening with regard to the legal blood alcohol limit can confidently protect themselves. “We believe it is better to put our gauge for 290 euro in the car as a bluff to make,” says Daniel Budde, Marketing Manager and engineer for Dräger safety technology. The analysis of a breath sample with the Alcotest 3820 takes between three and ten seconds. “The accurate and fast measurement distinguishes other meter manufacturers against us”, stressed Budde.

Alcohol Testers in Car as Standard
Alcohol testers should be reserved solely the police, finds the ADAC. Photo: Dräger safety technology

It goes after Dräger project manager the new Alcohol Tester is one Mirco Sanchez everywhere where is celebrated: “you can buy 20 mouthpieces and distribute to his guests, for example, if you have a party or something.” Automotive associations, however, are horrified: “It cannot be right, when it takes over the control function of the police”, thunders Ulf Evert, ADAC spokesman for Schleswig-Holstein. Is lump sum for him: “he who drinks should not drive.”

Used 30 000 000 times since 1953

“Blow in here, please!” This prompt is feared for decades by many endangered motorists: alcohol control! in 1953, the first Dräger alcohol test device in the patrol car of the German police came with the limit of 1.5 per thousand for the absolute minds. Dräger has produced more than 30 million of tubes, which produce a characteristic colour change for the control of the alcohol content of a chemical reaction.

Dräger safety technology
Of Alcotest of 3820 by the company Dräger developed for private use. Photo: Dräger

The last 9,000 glass Alcotest tubes in Lübeck by the band ran in the February 2016. “The tube was comparatively expensive with a price of more than five euros apiece,” Sanchez explained this cut. “The ends of the tube had to be canceled, there was always a certain risk of injury. And then you had to fit even a bag. “All quite expensive.”

Electrochemical sensor inside

Modern breath alcohol measuring instruments are equipped with an attachable plastic mouthpiece and hide inside an electrochemical sensor, which captures the ethanol content in the breath. The sensor is a membrane soaked with electrolyte, which carries the measuring electrode and the counter electrode. Electrolyte and electrode material are chosen so that the alcohol to be analyzed at the measuring electrode catalyst layer oxidized. Thus, the control measurement of the alcohol content is created with the specific sensor power.

10,000 units sold in the first four months

Whether the police or the private man even carried a breathalyser test. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. It is safest not to use your own car, when alcohol was drunk. The figures speak for themselves: 2014 the number of alcohol-related accidents was 13.612 in Germany, 18,211 in France and 9,120 in Poland. Alcohol consumption in France is remaining as number one in the world.

13 traffic deaths was attributable to an accident under the influence of alcohol.

Apparently not everyone is ready to abandon alcohol entirely, or to let the car even but: in the first four months Dräger has already brought 10,000 Alcotests 3820 at the private man or the private woman, especially in Scandinavia. “The predecessor model we sell there 70,000 – to 80,000 times”, called Dräger project manager Sanchez numbers. This is probably the very strict legislation on alcohol in road traffic.

In Japan, even a bicycle lock was built, that measures the alcohol level and sends an alarm to your Smartphone of the spouse when too much alcohol. And the University of Würzburg has developed a laser system, the smallest traces of alcohol in the air of a car passing also during the measures. The laser can analyze the gases resulting from the distillation of crude oil in refineries in real time.