Doculam Alcohol Breathalyzer Hygiene Suggestions

With the discovery of Coronavirus in South Africa and many countries around the world, the use of alcohol breathalyzers has come in to question.

Doculam understands the seriousness and have documented suggestions below to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Doculam currently offers a variation of Passive and Active alcohol breathalyzers, each with its own testing method:

  • Passive alcohol testers don’t require a mouthpiece and captures a breath sample while the subject breathes or blows towards the inlet at a minimum distance of 5cm. Some models make use of a reusable sampling cup while others use a removable blow cap which channels the air sample into the breathalyzer. There is therefore no physical contact between the subject and the breathalyzer.
  • Active alcohol breathalyzers use an individually sealed mouthpiece for a more accurate, digital reading. This mouthpiece is not reusable and should be disposed of appropriately once used by the subject.

We strongly recommend the correct usage of the Doculam breathalyzers to ensure the proper testing procedure and the preventative steps are carried out.

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the Coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Based on the above information, the below testing procedures are suggested as precautionary measures that should be followed when conducting breath alcohol testing.

 Alcohol breathalysers in the workplace – recommended operation process:

  • The operator should use latex gloves and a suitable preventative face mask when testing employees
  • Face the breathalyser away from the operator and other employees during the test
  • Hold the test unit at least 50 mm away from test subject during testing process
  • Use non-alcoholic wet wipes to clean off the sampling cup and surface of the breathalyser before each test
  • Use individually sealed mouthpieces for all tests or if risk is suspected on passive test cups
  • Ensure that the test subject’s mouth does not come into contact with the test device unless using a confirmatory test mouthpiece. Each mouthpiece should be sealed prior to use and only one should be used per test subject.
  • Conduct alcohol testing on suspicion or use the random test approach
  • All wipes, mouthpieces and latex gloves to be disposed of in a medical waste bin.

Non-alcoholic wet wipes or sanitizers contain Benzalkonium Chloride, which is an alcohol substitute, for non-alcoholic based sanitizers.

Alcohol-based sanitizers cannot be used to disinfect an alcohol breathalyser since this can affect the breath test result, non-alcohol-based wet wipes are therefore recommended for use, provided that it contains Benzalkonium Chloride.

According to the CDC, these are the steps to prevent the illness


There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Take steps to protect yourself

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

The above suggested precautions are a preventative guideline based on information provided by the CDC and World Health Organisation. Further updates will be provided as more information relating to the virus become available.