Frequently Asked Questions

Answers will be displayed by clicking on each individual question.

Regarding Alcohol Breathalyzers (Device)

Will the breathalyzer react even if no alcohol has been consumed?

Yes. In some cases, the device may respond to certain food,drink, and physical conditions. Other false positive responses may be linked to taking medicines, smoking, using mouthwash, and leftover toothpaste after brushing.
In addition, please note that non-alcoholic beers and certain foods that may contain alcohol-based ingredients might cause a false positive response due to alcohol content. The usage and storage environment of an alcohol breathalyzer may affect the device's sensitivity so please store and use as specified by the manufacturer.

Although the tested value (alcohol presence level) should drop as time passes, if the value should rise for some reason, is that cause for concern?

In some cases, a breath test  immediately after drinking alcohol leaves some components in the gastrointestinal tract which may not be present in blood. There may be cases where a numerical value lower than the amount of alcohol consumed will be displayed.
After some time, when alcohol is absorbed and dissolved in the blood, there is a chance the percentage of alcohol detectable in the body may become higher than immediately after drinking.

Depending on the alcohol breathalyzer type, the instruction manual states that a less than 0.05 mg / l  reading is indicated as 0.00 mg / l. Is this a problem?

There are no legal (cargo transportation industry safety regulation and passenger transportation industry safety regulation) problems.

What is the difference between a semiconductor type and an electrochemical type sensor?

The method (detection theory) for detecting alcohol gas is different for both. The semiconductor type sensor measures the change in the electrical resistance value generated by the reaction of alcohol-specific chemical components contained in an exhaled breath sample and the electrochemical sensor utilizes the change in the current value generated. In addition, the semiconductor sensor incorporates a heater to enhance detectability through mimicking the same temperature as internal human body heat. However, the electrochemical sensor is used in an unheated state.

Which battery type is more reliable? Fuel-cell or electrochemical?

It really depends on the needs of the manufacturer, but the theory (etc.) behind both is essentially the same.

Is it a problem to keep an in-vehicle alcohol breathalyzer onboard? 

Please refer to the restrictions on the usage and storage environment (indoor, outdoor, cold, hot, humidity etc.) of the device as described in the instruction manual etc.

Regarding Alcohol Breathalyzer Operational Use

Can you judge whether or not it is okay to drive by using just an alcohol breathalyzer?

Also, if the breathalyzer breath test result was 0.00 mg / l immediately after drinking, is there any problem with driving?

The average alcohol breathalyzer is a tool to detect either the presence or absence of alcohol, it is not used to judge the ability to drive or not. Based on breath test results, manufacturers of alcohol breathalyzers and concerned parties involved in sales are not directly responsible for judging whether or not it is permissible to operate vehicles or equipment.

If some time passes after drinking will it be okay to drive?
Also if after sleeping for a little bit, is it okay to drive?

Depending on the individual there will be noticeable differences between people based on factors such as the amount of alcohol consumed and factors dictating the chemical breakdown in the body that cannot be controlled or managed.
It is also said that the metabolization of alcohol takes more time than usual while sleeping.

Although I didn't have any problems with the mobile breathalyzer device, there was a NG result when the breathalyzer at my office was used.

What does this mean?

There may be differences depending on the maintenance status of the alcohol breathalyzer, the management situation, the usage environment, etc. Additionally, if the make and model the device you are using and the alcohol breathalyzer at your place of business are different, the usage method (breath testing method) may vary. Please check whether the usage method specified for each detector is correct.

In terms of hygiene is it possible to share the breathalyzer with other users?

Please use a mouthpiece that clearly directly touches the mouth for each individual use. 

Is it a mandatory requirement to use an alcohol breathalyzer?

Depending on the industry, it may be mandatory to use an alcohol breathalyzer. Please refer to the Home Page of the Japan Breath Alcohol Consortium.

Alcohol Breathalyzer Maintenance Etc.

What is the usage number of times and the usage cutoff of alcohol breathalyzer?

The number of times of use and usage deadline are generally pre-determined for each breathalyzer you use. For more information please read the instruction manual or check with the dealer or manufacturer from whom you purchased the breathalyzer.

What happens if regular maintenance is not done?
Is a device (sensor) with a small number of uses fine without regular maintenance?

The alcohol breathalyzer sensor deteriorates after prolonged use and is not usuable indefinitely. In order to maintain the highest sensor efficiency we recommend observing the number of times of use and monitoring the deadline stipulated for each breathalyzer sensor. Additionally we strongly encourage carrying out the necessary repair, maintenance, and calibration etc.

What should I do if I feel an abnormality in alcohol breathalyzer sensitivity as compared to before?
Also, where can I ask for maintenance, calibration, replacement, etc.?

We recommend reading the instruction manual or consulting the dealer or manufacturer from whom you purchased the breathalyzer.

Regarding the Japan Breath Alcohol Consortium (JBAC)

Is there significant performance difference between a JBAC approved alcohol breathalyzer and a non-certified device?

This is difficult to judge as non-certified devices are not recognized by JBAC.

Which devices are JBAC approved? Also, where can I get them?

A list of certified devices can be accessed from the JBAC Home Page under(Certified Devices)
To make a purchase please consult the dealer or manufacturer directly to get a device that suits your needs.

Would it be possible to ask for exhibits and lectures on alcohol breathalyzers?

Depending on the desired content collaboration is definitely possible for activities related to alcohol abuse and/or drunk driving. For more information on setting up a lecture or exhibit please contact JBAC directly.(Inquiry)


How is the accuracy of a commercially available alcohol breathalyzer as compared to a device used by the police at alcohol checkpoints?

Breathalyzers possessed by the police currently cannot be obtained and therefore cannot be examined to determine their equivalency.
In addition, the devices and specifications of such are not disclosed by law enforcement officials and therefore cannot be compared with commercially available devices.

Is it possible to issue a traceability report?

Please consult your dealer or manufacturer for more details.

Please tell me what alcohol consumption numerical standards are subject to penalties under the Road Traffic Act.

Although "drunk driving" is defined by Article 65, paragraph 1 of the Road Traffic Law as "No individual should drive a car etc while under the influence of alcohol",the legal limit of "drunk driving" is considered to be a BAC of more than 0.15 mg / l. However, even if it is less than 0.15 mg / l, a DUI violation may be judged as worthy of penalty if it is judged as "drunk driving" regardless of BAC level.
It should be noted that commercial breathalyzers that are not interlocks merely detect either the presence of absence of alcohol and are not an indicator of the ability to drive. Additionally, based on the breath test results, manufacturers and dealers of alcohol breathalyzers bear no responsibility for determining whether or not drivers are fit to perform vehicle operation, equipment operation, etc.