While we love to imbibe in plenty of great craft beer, knowing our limits is important. Being able to stop before we get ourselves into trouble or having to nurse a horrid hangover the following day is a skill many struggle with. To help know where we’re at, a breathalyzer is a great tool to tell us when to slow it down and when we should stop. Unfortunately, a breathalyzer that’s not accurate is very possibly worse than none at all. That’s the case with the Breathometer Breeze.
The Breathometer Breeze is a pocket-sized, smartphone connected breathalyzer. It attaches to your keychain or even clips to your pocket so you can take it anywhere (like the bar). The smartphone app lets you measure your current level of intoxication, track your results over time (including weekly averages and how often you drink), and call for a ride or get a hotel. Sadly, the results the Breeze provides aren’t accurate.
Breathometer was nice enough to send a unit my way to review. I was excited to check it out. Opening the package, I tried it right away without having consumed any alcohol for more than 24 hours (I’d also gone well over 20 minutes without eating or drinking anything else). The result it returned was 0.023 BAC. Having had no alcohol recently, this wasn’t right. I tried again and got similar result. The next day the app gave an error and support told me the unit was defective. I sent it back and got a new one. The new unit had the same issue. After being advised that it was likely some residual testing fluid which should dry out soon, I tried the Breeze from time to time over a period of several days. When I still saw inaccurate results while sober, they had me return the first unit for another. This next unit proved to have the same issue. Again it was showing around a 0.2 BAC even when it had been far more than 24 hours without a drink. Using a police-style unit to compare, I saw readings of 0.000 as they should be. Breathometer support stopped responding to support requests (previously it was taking 3-4 days to respond) around that time too.
The idea and form factor of the Breeze is great, but the failure to give accurate results is a huge issue. If you can’t trust the reading when sober, how are you suppose to trust it when intoxicated? While you should never use a breathalyzer to decide if it’s safe to drive (if you have to question how intoxicated you are, you’re too intoxicated to drive), these tools are there to help us learn our limits. While I’d love the device to function correctly, as the rest of the execution is great, I simply can’t recommend any product that could put people in a bad place. If you’re looking for a great smartphone connected breathalyzer that has accurate results, go with the BACtrack Mobile Pro.
Every reading shown below was taken after more than 24 hours without drinking and more than 30 minutes without food or beverage. These readings were taken with the 3rd Breathometer Breeze that I received.