Alcohol Tests

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Alcohol Tests at Walgreens

Alcohol tests are made to quickly measure yours or a loved one's blood alcohol level. Devices known as breathalyzers are a popular way to measure alcohol concentration in the blood. Having any alcohol in your blood can impair your reaction time when driving. Therefore knowing your blood alcohol concentration is more for informational purposes. It won't tell you whether it's safe to drive.

Alcohol Tests Are an Objective Measure of Blood Alcohol

Most people aren't good judges of how impaired they are after drinking alcohol. A person with a high alcohol level may feel they're able to drive safely even when they're significantly impaired. Unfortunately, when an impaired person steps into a car, they put their own life as well as the lives of others in danger. Even small amounts of alcohol can cause impairment in some people. How alcohol affects a person varies with an individual's age, body weight, gender, how tolerant the person is to alcohol, how rapidly they drank, their emotional state and when they last ate. Certain medical conditions and medications can make a person more likely to be impaired when they drink even when it doesn't affect blood alcohol concentration. Breathalyzers are an objective way to measure blood alcohol concentration. However, it's important to understand that they are not 100% accurate.

How Does a Breathalyzer Work?

To use most breathalyzers, you blow evenly into the mouthpiece for five seconds. The breathalyzer gives you feedback to let you know when to stop breathing. As you release air into the mouthpiece, a sensor measures the alcohol concentration of that air. The breathalyzer then converts what it measures into a blood alcohol concentration. For the most accurate reading, wait 15 minutes after eating before testing. If you've recently eaten something, it can alter the results.

Most breathalyzers are battery operated and light enough to carry with you wherever you go. It's nice to have one on hand when you're going to a party where alcohol is to be served and to have one available at home to offer guests the opportunity to measure their blood alcohol level before getting into their car. Some models have an advanced fuel cell alcohol sensor for maximal accuracy. Most breathalyzers come with a carrying case and an instructional manual so you can get the most accurate results from your machine. Also available are accessories for your breathalyzer - accessory mouthpieces and mouthpiece covers. You can also purchase a wall adapter or automobile adapter for some breathalyzer machines.

Having alcohol tests like a breathalyzer creates greater awareness of how alcohol affects you or someone in your family. People are often surprised to find their blood alcohol level is higher than they expected based on how they feel. When you drink, keep safety in mind. If you plan on driving, make sure there's a non-drinking designated driver to safely drive you and your party home. If you don't have a designated driver, stay where you are until someone can pick you up or take a taxi. Alcohol impairs judgment and reaction time. Don't take chances with the safety of you or your family. Drink alcohol responsibly.

Whether you are testing for alcohol levels or even for other substances like drugs, Walgreens offers a variety of home tests and monitoring products to fit your needs.