Disclaimer: Soberlink is not endorsed by, affiliated with, or sponsored by BACtrack®

Comparison Summary

With its unique, state-of-the-art features and expert support, Soberlink's remote alcohol monitoring technology has been the undisputed leader in the industry for over a decade. BACtrack's low-cost breathalyzer may be a great budget option for recreational use but falls short in high-risk markets like Addiction Recovery and Family Law.

Soberlink Advantages: Court admissible, advanced reporting, facial recognition, tamper detection, monitoring agreements

For over 10 years, Soberlink® has been the undisputed leader in remote alcohol monitoring technology for Addiction Recovery, Family Law, and Workplace Compliance. The Soberlink® team works closely with professionals in all these industries to understand their needs and foster client accountability. Soberlink® continuously innovates its system and improves its professional services to maintain its leadership position as the gold standard in remote alcohol monitoring technology.

Soberlink uses tamper-resistant facial recognition technology to provide verified, court-admissible evidence of sobriety while BACtrack records a video of the tester that needs to be reviewed by another party. When considering Soberlink® vs. less expensive devices, such as BACtrack®, it’s important to understand the issues that may arise due to their lack of features or support.

Potential Issues and Questions to Consider When Monitoring Sobriety

Alcohol monitoring potential issues and questions to consider: court admissibility, alcohol monitoring reports, identity verification, education and support, validating test results, device options, monitoring agreements
  • Court Admissibility: When used for child custody, will the proof of sobriety be evidence that is deemed scientifically reliable?
  • Alcohol Monitoring Reports: When it is time to analyze test results, are they displayed in an easy-to-read format?
  • Identity Verification: Who is tasked with checking whether the correct person is testing each time?
  • Validating Test Results: When alcohol is detected, is there a method for requiring additional tests for proper analysis of results?
  • Device Options: If the client does not always have a smartphone with them, is there an option for them to test?
  • Monitoring Agreements: Does the client understand and agree to the protocol and procedures for testing?
  • Education and Support: Are resources and support available when assistance is needed?

Court Admissibility

Soberlink vs. BACtrack View: Court admissibility.

Court Admissibility is a term that is used by many remote alcohol monitoring systems, oftentimes without adequate support. If alcohol monitoring test results need to be presented in court as evidence, the results must be court admissible. Admissible evidence is valid, accurate, and reliable data from a scientifically verifiable source that can be presented before the judge as fact.

Alcohol monitoring data is not automatically deemed court admissible. Generally, for alcohol monitoring data to be admissible in court, it must meet certain criteria, such as relevance to the case, accuracy, reliability, validity, and attained from procedures with scientific verifiability. Additionally, the data must have been obtained legally and in compliance with relevant laws and regulations. Without the proper systems set up, demonstrating sobriety through a simple breathalyzer test with a photo or video counterpart is not enough to satisfy the admissibility criteria.

Soberlink’s® Dedication to Providing Court-Admissible Evidence

Soberlink® results have proven to be accurate and court-admissible in all 50 states and Canada for civil and criminal cases since 2011.

Utilizing facial recognition technology that can confirm the tester’s identity and tamper detection sensors ensure Soberlink’s® test results are reliable and trusted.

Soberlink® has documentation to support its court admissibility and can provide testimony and certified records to support the technology as needed.

Soberlink® experts have testified hundreds of times in court to back up all aspects of the technology.

BACtrack’s® Lack of Scientific Reliability

BACtrack® claims to be court admissible but lacks many features and services to ensure scientific reliability, which is needed to be used as evidence in a courtroom. With BACtrack, laying a foundation for the authenticity of the evidence is difficult.

Further, BACtrack® often uses image or video verification methods that can easily be circumvented, making the device easy to tamper with and beat the system. Once a Client realizes they can beat the system, all future testing data is unreliable.

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Alcohol Monitoring Reports

Soberlink vs. BACtrack View: Alcohol monitoring reports

Analyzing test results can become tedious and time-consuming without clear and easy-to-read reporting. For example, can you determine whether the client was sober on a certain date and time, or do you have to scroll through pages and pages of test results, checking the date, time, BAC level, and verifying the tester’s identity?

Soberlink’s® Unprecedented Advanced Reporting Technology

Soberlink®’s Advanced reporting capabilities make it easy to analyze testing data.

Advanced Reporting uses AI to display data in an easy-to-read calendar format and utilizes colored icons so you can know at-a-glance when the test happened and whether the test was compliant.

Because Soberlink® uses facial recognition and real-time human review, a green checkmark on Soberlink’s® Advanced Reporting means that you immediately know that the Monitored Client’s identity is verified and no alcohol was detected.

Red x’s indicate non-compliance. A Non-Compliant test means the test was positive or the identity of the person testing was not confirmed.

BACtrack’s® Reports

BACtrack® does not have reporting capabilities that make it easy for Family Law professionals, Addiction Treatment Providers, and loved ones to analyze testing results.

If a client is submitting tests multiple times a day for weeks or months, users will have to look through hundreds of test results, checking each one individually to find the date, time, BAC level, and check the tester’s identity.

Because there is no facial recognition, a test with a 0.00 BAC level does not necessarily mean a compliant test because the tester could have had someone else blow into the device. Further, there is no way to know if the person tampered with it by using an alternate air source. Each video would have to be checked individually by another party. This other party will likely lack the training needed to properly analyze the data, causing confusion in all markets.

Recipients of BACtrack® reports have to spend extra time deciphering results when compared to the ease of reading a Soberlink® Advanced Report.

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Identity Verification

Soberlink vs. BACtrack View: Identity Verification

Professionals and loved ones need to know that the person submitting the test is the Monitored Client. Without immediate identity verification in Family Law, the safety of the children could be in doubt. Without immediate identity verification in Addiction Recovery, a small slip can go undetected, potentially resulting in a full-blown relapse that could have been prevented.

Soberlink’s® Facial Recognition Technology

Soberlink® is the only system that has built-in facial recognition combined with multiple layers of additional human review. If the Facial Recognition Software cannot verify the Monitored Client’s identity, the photo immediately goes to a 24/7 UL Certified HIPAA Compliant monitoring station where their team analyzes and approves or declines the image within minutes. Additionally, Soberlink® has in-house team members who perform additional checks of each image within 48 hours for accuracy and evidence of Tampering.

BACtrack’s® Flawed Identity Verification Solution

BACtrack® uses photo and video verification to ensure that the correct person is using the device. This is flawed for several reasons.
With this method, the identity of the person is up to the interpretation of the person checking. In Family Law, this is the other parent who may not always be looking out for the best interests of the Monitored Client, who is their ex-spouse. This person is biased and should not be involved in validating testing results.
Since each test result requires the involvement of an interested party, there is no real-time, verified data available.

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Validating Test Results

Soberlink vs. BACtrack View: Validating test results
Attaining valid test results is crucial when monitoring sobriety for Family Law or Addiction recovery. Without a proper testing protocol or robust system, analyzing drinking events would be impossible.

Soberlink’s® Methods of Validating Results

Soberlink’s® robust system requires a confirmation test if alcohol is detected on the first test. This feature is known as the Retest Cycle and provides up to 7 BAC results that provide data points to validate drinking events.
  • Retest Cycle: Upon registering a positive test, Soberlink® prompts the user into a Retest Cycle where retests are required every 15 to 30 minutes until there is a negative test or until 6 retest windows have elapsed.

BACtrack’s® Does not Have Methods for Validating Results

BACtrack® does not have a Retest Cycle, so there is not enough data to accurately analyze drinking events. This lack of data can cause confusion.

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Device Options

Soberlink vs. BACtrack View: device options
Not everyone has a smartphone with them at all times. Having various device options is crucial to ensure all clients have access to remote alcohol monitoring so they can easily foster accountability and prove sobriety.

Soberlink’s® Device Options

Soberlink® is on its 4th and 5th generation of professional-grade, FDA-cleared medical device options, continuously innovating to improve its product. As an FDA Cleared Medical Device, Soberlink® goes through stringent protocols to ensure the highest quality.
The all-in-one Soberlink® Cellular device allows clients to test anytime, anywhere. During a loss of coverage, Soberlink’s® Cellular device can store the results and upload them later. This storing feature is unique to a Soberlink® Cellular device.
The Connect device pairs to a smartphone, which allows for testing on cellular or Wi-Fi coverage, further expanding the reach of Soberlink® results.
All Soberlink® devices are designed and manufactured in California.

BACtrack’s® Devices are Not Accessible to All

BACtrack® only offers one device for monitoring. This device is the same as a standard breathalyzer used for recreational purposes, massed produced in Asia.

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Monitoring Agreements

Soberlink vs. BACtrack View: monitoring agreements
Monitoring Agreements are extremely important in Addiction Recovery, Family Law, and Workplace Compliance. Without agreements, there are no clear parameters or consequences for the Monitored Client. Top Addiction Treatment doctors, such as Dr. Gregory Skipper, have discussed and agreed that the Monitoring Agreement is critical to the success of monitoring. All leading experts agree that monitoring should not begin until an agreement is in place.

Soberlink® Ensures Clear Testing Parameters

Every Soberlink® Program requires the Monitored Client to sign a monitoring agreement. These agreements set expectations, assign responsibilities, and allow for additional contacts to be a part of the monitoring process (such as an attorney in Family Law, an Addiction Treatment Provider for recovery, or other key players for the success of the Program).
In Family Law, changes to the agreement can only be made if both parties agree and sign off on the change. This ensures that all parties are always on the same page.

BACtrack’s® Lack of Contracts or Agreements Sets the System Up for Failure

BACtrack® highlights that they have no contracts or agreements as a benefit when a lack of contracts can actually set the system up for failure. Providing structure and clear direction for all involved is essential to the success of the monitoring and eventual outcome. A lack of Monitoring Agreements will cause anxiety and confusion when positive or missed tests occur.

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Education and Support

Soberlink vs. BACtrack View: education & support
Education about remote alcohol monitoring requires more than just understanding a breathalyzer device. Soberlink® dedicates a large percentage of its resources to ongoing education, resources, and support for all parties involved.

Soberlink® is Dedicated to Educating the Industry

Soberlink® attends nearly 200 Family Law Conferences per year. This effort is not only to bring awareness of the benefits of Soberlink® in custody cases but also to educate Family Law practitioners on what is required to implement a successful monitoring program.
Soberlink® is also the leading remote alcohol monitoring system used in Addiction Treatment. With over 400 Treatment programs using Soberlink® and several studies published in medical journals showing efficacy. Soberlink® is the most trusted remote alcohol monitoring system for the most esteemed treatment programs in the US.
Soberlink® is the leader in remote alcohol monitoring for Workplace Compliance, being used by over 100 major corporations to monitor their employees’ drinking. These industries include major airlines, physician health programs, and other licensed professional programs.

BACtrack® Lacks the Experience and Support Necessary for Family Law and Addiction Treatment

BACtrack’s® device is great for recreational use as a generic breathalyzer. It is inexpensive, widely available, and can be used immediately upon purchase.
However, these benefits do not translate into a robust remote alcohol monitoring system that is needed to prove sobriety for high-risk markets.

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Read the Full Report

How Should Soberlink be used in Alcohol RecoveryView the Report