Customer Reviews


256 Reviews
5 star:
 (104)
4 star:
 (69)
3 star:
 (25)
2 star:
 (14)
1 star:
 (44)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


140 of 147 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Tool -- Troubleshooting: REPLACE BATTERY
The Keychain Breathalyzer is really a great value, but like any measuring device, you HAVE to understand a little science and how to properly use it.

When I first got this little doodad, I put the battery in and went hog playing around with it, drinking with some buddies.

The next day, it started acting really funny. It would turn on and start...
Published 9 months ago by Matias

versus
170 of 186 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not accurate
This thing is quite a battery hog (AAA size). Had an alocohol sensor unit that cost more and seemed to be more accurate than this one for a decade before it quit working. This one registered a 0.01 after a beer a few nights back- seems to work so far. Don't drink that much nowadays but I want to know just where I stand... One can get into serious trouble if he hurts/kills...
Published on March 31, 2012 by Rob


‹ Previous | 1 226 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

140 of 147 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Tool -- Troubleshooting: REPLACE BATTERY, July 25, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: BACtrack Keychain Breathalyzer Portable Keyring Breath Alcohol Tester, Black (Health and Beauty)
The Keychain Breathalyzer is really a great value, but like any measuring device, you HAVE to understand a little science and how to properly use it.

When I first got this little doodad, I put the battery in and went hog playing around with it, drinking with some buddies.

The next day, it started acting really funny. It would turn on and start counting down, and then shut off almost immediately. If I left it alone for several hours, I could do a test, but then it was unable to do another test. Sometimes I could do a test and it gave me the 'Lo' message. I thought the battery was dead. I checked the battery with a volt meter, and the battery didn't look dead at all. I thought I got a lemon... and then I got a new battery. Now it's fine.

To those who have seen the "it was working great the first night, and then it quit on me" reviews, this is what's going on:

RELIABILITY:

This device seems power hungry, and I have a feeling that the AAA battery can't immediately produce the power it needs, so it needs to harvest the energy slowly while not in use so that it can do a test. I didn't like that this behavior isn't explicitly explained in the manual. The manual does say to wait a few minutes between tests. If you don't follow this, it will actually kill the battery. If you played with it non-stop all night and it won't work anymore on a seemingly good battery, replace the battery and use it properly. It will function perfectly. This is something that should be clearly addressed in the manual, and I think would eliminate the negative reviews that I have seen.

Realize, this device was designed for a responsible drinker who wants to stay safe. That person will use it perhaps 4 times at most throughout an evening.

ACCURACY:

I've never been able to measure and track the phenomenon of BAC, so I had no idea what to expect. I looked at a table of BAC's, drink units, and body weight/height to see what a standard drink should do to me. I did a proper test, where I had 1 drink unit (1 12oz can of beer in this case) and waited 20min to do a test. It matched the table perfectly. And it's very consistent. If I repeat a test, it is always within 0.01 of the last.

You don't necessarily have to wait the full 20 minutes, but there are caveats. If you are still absorbing alcohol in your GI tract, yet have absorbed all of it in your mouth and throat (you ate a big meal before drinking), the reading will be low because you haven't absorbed everything into your system yet (it will continue to rise even if you don't have another drink). If you're still absorbing alcohol in your mouth (ie. after a sip of hard liquor), it will read high because the alcohol takes longer to absorb through your mouth and throat. You can rinse your mouth and do a test to get a ROUGH idea anytime, but if you want to be sure about your reading, wait 20 minutes. If 20 minutes isn't possible and it's important, your environment isn't healthy.

CALIBRATION:

The official website says that it should be sent for calibration after 6mo - 1yr. Closer reading of the manual confirms what many professionals in the BAC field will say: Every Month. The manual states that under 'average' use, it will need to be calibrated after 6mo - 1yr. But under daily use, it may need calibration as often as once a month.

I will periodically see what it reads my BAC 20 min after 1 standard drink, and send it off when it looks inconsistent or off.

CONCLUSION:

BAC was a much simpler concept in my head until I started reading and got this doodad. You have to learn a little science to understand what is going on. But it will help you understand that "feeling OK" is often not good enough.

Really, this tool is most useful if you understand how alcohol interacts with your body. Breathalyzers are not a surefire or definitive way to measure 'drunkenness' because they are an indirect measurement that can be affected by many factors. However, if you would like a tool to give you a rough idea of what you can handle, and have the knowledge to understand what factors are at play, it's a damned educational gadget that I would recommend to anyone interested in some learnin'.

At $30, it's a great deal. If you need more accuracy, or whatever, spend the money for a fuel-cell breathalyzer and get it calibrated every month. The BACtrack keychain is a good "back of the envelope" tool that can be very educational.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


170 of 186 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not accurate, March 31, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: BACtrack Keychain Breathalyzer Portable Keyring Breath Alcohol Tester, Black (Health and Beauty)
This thing is quite a battery hog (AAA size). Had an alocohol sensor unit that cost more and seemed to be more accurate than this one for a decade before it quit working. This one registered a 0.01 after a beer a few nights back- seems to work so far. Don't drink that much nowadays but I want to know just where I stand... One can get into serious trouble if he hurts/kills someone while driving impaired.

Will update this after I compare it to the BACtrack S80 fuel cell model that I recently ordered arrives.

Update: Drank two beers 24 oz. total. Here are the results as my body eliminated the alcohol. Three digit numbers on the left are the pricy fuel cell model results.

6:56pm .029 vs. .06 BAC
7:12pm .022 vs. .04
7:21pm .020 vs. .03
7:38pm .016 vs. .03
8:36pm .000 vs. .00

The two digit numbers on the right are this inexpensive keychain model. The three digit numbers on the left are the BACtrack S80 $136. model. My stomach was completely empty when I did the above comparison. My old alcohol sensor unit seemed to be more accurate than this one. A fuel cell model is the way to go if you really need accuracy and not a vague idea... This is little more than a keychain trinket/party toy as far as I am concerned.

Blew into a fuel cell looking model years back when a cop thought I was drunk. He was puzzled for I was well below 0.08 but had alocohol on my breath... Am glad I have an accurate fuel cell breathlizer now. Cheap insurance considering the potential ramifications of being over 0.08% BAC. Figure on the high probability of a blood test for any and all drugs if you look/smell/act impaired. The courts have upheld the use of blood tests at the discretion of the cops.

Went partying yesterday afternoon. Got two back to back readings with my S80 model of 0.048% when I got into my vehicle. It's very good to accurately know just what your BAC is before driving.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Comically inaccurate!, April 30, 2013
This review is from: BACtrack Keychain Breathalyzer Portable Keyring Breath Alcohol Tester, Black (Health and Beauty)
I have access to calibration tanks used for breath alcohol instruments. The tanks have a very accurate quantity of ethanol. This thing isn't accurate worth a damn, I used a .08 tank and it registered 0.16%. There is a silver lining, at least this device (or at least the one I bought) reads higher than the actual value. Drink responsibly everyone!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

 
stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Sep 12, 2013 11:30:56 AM PDT
Sorry to hear you have been having trouble with your breathalyzer. Per our one-year warranty on all products, we'd like to replace it free of charge. Please write to us at support at bactrack dot com or call Customer Service at 415-693-9756 and we'll send you a replacement right away. Thank you so much for your patience.
 
 

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The battery life is the only thing that lets it down, but badly..., May 13, 2013
This review is from: BACtrack Keychain Breathalyzer Portable Keyring Breath Alcohol Tester, Black (Health and Beauty)
I bought this at the same time as another unit which was nearly twice the price in order to have multiple data sources in order to make an informed decision about my (lack of) sobriety.

When used correctly, it registers consistently exactly 0.01 below my other unit. I don't know which is "correct", but with mathematical computations based on my body weight vs. number of fluid ounces of alchohol, both register either exactly or very close to what they are supposed to. When I say "correctly", I mean not within 15 minutes of having a drink, or no repeated blows too close together (as the directions clearly state and clearly what multiple reviewers chose to ignore.)

I had one isolated incident where it read 0.00 a couple of consecutive times, but setting it down for 10 minutes and trying again seemed to correct it's minor brain lapse.

The real negative here is that the battery is seemingly only good for a few days (with our use, maybe 10-12 blows.) I would love for other users (or the manufacturer) to chime in and let me know if this is a defective unit, or truly a design deficiency, because this would be a 5-star product without this issue. Regrettably with it, it's only 3.

UPDATE:

After publishing this review, I mailed bactrack customer service. They responded within about 4 business hours of my request with this very nice reply - upping my rating to 4 stars, and will change to 5 if the new one gets the proper battery life:

XXX,

Thank you for contacting us with your Customer Support issue. I'm sorry to hear that you are having a little trouble with your breathalyzer.

According to manufacturer specifications and general customer experience, the KC10 typically has a battery life of about 50-75 uses. There could be a few reasons why your specific unit's battery life is less than average:

-Old batteries (Though I'm assuming that you used the new battery that came packaged with the KC10)

-All KC10's are designed to shut off automatically after a short period of time. Your unit may not be turning off on its own, causing the battery to drain over time.

In any case, since your unit does seem to be under-performing, we would be more than happy to send you a brand new unit. Please provide me with your original order confirmation from Amazon, as well as your shipping address, and I will arrange to have a new KC10 sent to you. Thanks for your patience.

XXX YYY
BACtrack.com
Customer Support

UPDATE #2:

They sent the updated unit, and the battery life is MUCH better. Rating changed to 5 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This gadget could really save your bacon., December 4, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: BACtrack Keychain Breathalyzer Portable Keyring Breath Alcohol Tester, Black (Health and Beauty)
This breathalyzer may not have the high accuracy of the higher end devices, but for the average user, it could be a life saver (or a driver's license saver). It's good enough.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading---expensive, lies by omission, October 31, 2013
This review is from: BACtrack Keychain Breathalyzer Portable Keyring Breath Alcohol Tester, Black (Health and Beauty)
What the advertisement fails to tell you is you must spend nearly 20 dollars every six months to recalibrate the device by a "trained professional." That type of maintenance is something that should be put in the description in order to evaluate whether one wants to purchase an item. Don't waste your money. Read about it at [...]
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


47 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not accurate, April 3, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: BACtrack Keychain Breathalyzer Portable Keyring Breath Alcohol Tester, Black (Health and Beauty)
I blew .00 with this product but blew .016 with a breathalyzer at a police station. If you need accuracy get a breathalyzer that uses fuel cell technology to detect alcohol. It's what the police departments use. No sense in using this if you want to know if your under the legal limit or if you shouldn't be drinking and need to blow for probation.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very accurate!, March 3, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: BACtrack Keychain Breathalyzer Portable Keyring Breath Alcohol Tester, Black (Health and Beauty)
I love this breathalyzer. My friend is a cop and we tested this with the breathalyzer he uses for work. Both got the same results. The battery life isn't the greatest but it's not horrible. Just keep some extra batteries in your glovebox and you're set
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serves my purpose! Great price., March 4, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this neat, cute portable breathalyzer for my son who lives in a frat house. He and his frat brothers use it to make sure they are OK to drive. Because it is an inexpensive unit, I question the accuracy. I recommend it be used only as a guideline. I told my son not to drive if it measures anything (wishful thinking, probably).

I also use this to test my teenage son whenever he comes home from driving on weekend nights out. He knows I will test him right when he comes in the door, and obvously he is busted if it registers anything but zero. This has been very effective in preventing him from ever drinking and driving.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Does not work, June 9, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: BACtrack Keychain Breathalyzer Portable Keyring Breath Alcohol Tester, Black (Health and Beauty)
Always marks FL which means no good reading was taken.
No matter how careful we were following the instructions we could not get a reading, just FL message.
Don't waste your money in this item I'm sending it back.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

 
stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Sep 12, 2013 11:29:35 AM PDT
Sorry to hear you have been having trouble with your breathalyzer. Reading your comments, we believe your unit is malfunctioning. Per our one-year warranty on all products, we'd like to replace it free of charge. Please write to us at support at bactrack dot com or call Customer Service at 415-693-9756 and we'll send you a replacement right away. Thank you so much for your patience.
 
 

‹ Previous | 1 226 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xa5c0eac8)

This product

Only search this product's reviews
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.