Private breathalysers nothing more than toys, cops say

Testing yourself before you drive with a store-bought breathalyser no guarantee of dodging a drunk driving fine

Sales of breathalysers go through the roof during the festive season as party-goers try to make sure that extra beer or shot is not going to earn them a ticket and fine.

However, police say sitting in the driver's seat and breathing into a privately-purchased breathalyser before you drive home is as big a waste of time as buying the device in the first place.

An expensive toy
"You still cannot be sure that your blood alcohol level (BAC) is below 0.5 per thousand," Knud Reinholdt, an officer with the traffic division of the South Jutland Police, told DR. "They are literally just a toy."

Web outlets like and report selling up to three times as many breathalysers during the months leading up to Christmas, but Reinholdt cautioned drivers that the results would not stand up in court.

READ MORE: Police empowered to confiscate cars from first-offence drunk drivers

"We will take you in for a blood test if our breathalyser shows a BAC of more than 0.5 per thousand, even if your own meter shows less," said Reinholt. "It might be better to spend your money on a taxi."