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Some breathalysers on sale to the UK public vary considerably in their ability to detect potentially unsafe levels of breath alcohol for driving, Oxford University researchers have found.

The findings call into question the regulatory process for approving these sorts of devices for personal use, say the researchers, particularly as false reassurance about a person's safety to drive could have potentially catastrophic consequences.

The Oxford University researchers compared the diagnostic accuracy, or sensitivity, of three personal use breathalysers to detect alcohol levels at or over the UK legal limit.

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