Approved Alcohol Testing Officer with 5510 breathalyzer

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This course is for alcohol testing in the workplace with the Drager 5510 breathalyzer. It covers best practice procedures, compliance, limits, and handset operation.


5510 – A brief history of Breathalyzers

Length: 3 minutesComplexity: Easy

Welcome to your Approved Alcohol Testing Officers Course. Before we introduce you to your breath alcohol testing equipment, let's first look at some of the background and history behind the Breathalyzer! The first breathalyzers were developed in 1953 by chemists working for Draeger. They created the beginnings of the device the morning...

5510 – Blood Alcohol VS Breath Alcohol

Length: 4 minutesComplexity: Hard

Alcohol in the blood (liquid) and alcohol in breath (gas) are two different entities and are therefore measured differently. There is a formula which can be used to establish the ratio between to the 2 different measurements. Known as Henry’s Law, it specifies: “the quantity of a substance in a liquid (eg….

5510 – Alcohol Measurements and Readings

Length: 2 minutesComplexity: Easy

As learnt in the last lesson, the measurements for a breath alcohol reading and blood alcohol reading are different, but imply the same level of impairment. BrAC – Breath Alcohol Concentration A gas concentration. This can be displayed in microgrammes of Ethanol per 100ml of breath eg 35 µg/100ml (the current…

5510 – The Drink Driving Law

Free Preview

Length: 5 minutesComplexity: Standard

In December 2014, the Drink Driving limit in Scotland was reduced to 22µg of alcohol per 100ml breath. You may also have seen it in the media expressed in its blood alcohol limit of 50mg/100ml (0.05%BAC). This is the same limit for Ireland. Ireland also have a lower limit again for…

5510 – Drink Driving Limits Across Europe

Length: 2 minutesComplexity: Easy

England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Malta have the highest drink driving limits in all of Europe. Most other European countries not only have a much lower limit, they also have a lower limit again for commercial vehicle, novice and learner drivers.  

5510 – Testing in the workplace

Length: 4 minutesComplexity: Easy

So why are you thinking of testing in the workplace?  There are many benefits to screening employees for alcohol use in the work place, including the following: – Safer environment for employees – More productive employees – Increased staff attendance – More alert and efficient staff – Better cause of incident awareness…

5510 – Breathalyzer Measurement Conditions

Length: 4 minutesComplexity: Standard

Prior to performing a breath test, there are several factors to consider: Contamination It is imperative to wait at least 20 minutes after smoking, eating or drinking.  Residual mouth contamination (for example from mouthwash) can give false readings, damage the accuracy of breathalyzer and reduce the service life of the sensor. No solvent…

5510 – Mouthpieces

Length: 3 minutesComplexity: Easy

  This is the mouthpiece that is used with the Draeger AlcoTest range of breathalysers.  It comes hermetically sealed for hygiene.  There is a brief explanation of the various attributes listed below:   Sampling port– is where the sample is taken into the device. The Air exhaust –  makes it more…

5510 – Powering your handset

Length: 2 minutesComplexity: Easy

Your Breathalyzer is powered by Alkaline batteries (1.5 V Mignon LR6, AA) and you can expect around 500 tests per set of batteries.  The handset will show a Battery symbol as below indicating the charging status. Your handset will also have an internal battery used to retain the sample data and date/time…

5510 – The Breathalzyer

Length: 4 minutesComplexity: Easy

The 5510 breathalyzer is very easy to operate. If possible have your breathalyzer in your hand and compare with the image below to familiarise yourself with it. LED warning lights  – Green, Amber and Red Menu/down button – When on the ‘Ready’ screen you can select this button to access…

5510 – Operation

If you have your breathalzyer with you, follow the steps with your breathalyzer. Steps to retrieving a breath test result. 1- Turn on your device by pressing and holing the ‘OK’ button until the device turn on. 2 – Wait for the screen to say ‘Ready’ and attach your mouthpiece. 3…

5510 – Menu Options

If possible follow the video below with your own breathalzyer to become more familiar with the menu options of the 5510.

5510 – Calibration & Servicing

Complexity: Easy

The Draeger AlcoTest 5510 is an evidential Breathalyzer with European Approval for Police Use.  Part of the Approval process requires that the accuracy of the handset it checked every 182 days (6 months) – or every 500 tests. On start-up, you will notice a screen displaying the remaining days left till…

5510 Summary and Assessment

You have been taken through an introduction Alcohol testing with your 5510 breathalzyer.  By now you should be familiar with the UK limits, testing practice and use of the 5510 breathalzyer. You should understand the difference between different measurements for UK limits. You should have a good understanding of the…