DIY Breathalyzer may be the hit of the party

Okay, this may not be saving any lives, but it makes for a fun novelty at your next rager. Most Breathalyzers aim to keep you from driving when you’ve had too many. The Squidalyzer encourages party-goers to drink more and more by treating a high blood-alcohol-content with great fanfare. An Arduino, a gas sensor, and Processing all come together for this hack. A television interface tells you when to blow into a cup which houses the sensor, and gives a reading of what it measures. Blow higher than the last guy and you’ll break the record. Watch the demo after the break to see the fun [Geoff] had with it. And remember, friends don’t let friends solder drunk.


  1. Koolguy007 says:

    There was something like this at the Dual Core booth during at Linuxfest. Everyone that come with me kept trying to beat each others scores until they finally just got too drink and quit.

  2. wouter says:

    this would be awesome at parties..
    (every1 in coma pls don’t point at me..)

  3. Scuzz says:

    This seems like a good way to get people to die of alcohol poisoning. People don’t really need a reason to drink more, and this seriously encourages drinking when you’re already too drunk.


  4. jim says:

    Responsible drinking is one sherry and a good night’s sleep. I approve of this hack.

  5. Apo says:

    No documentation? Boo.

  6. nootropic says:

    These sensors are really fun, but difficult to calibrate with any hope of determining BAC. Believe me, I tried:

  7. Gdogg says:

    hahaha that is hilarious. I can see it being a blast, but totally irresponsible.

    reminds me of the tucker max story.

  8. You’re already legally responsible when someone drunk leaves your house. As a host, it’s up to you to nanny state all your guests.

    Whatever happens, don’t let the district attorney/grand jury know you had this available as a drinking game.

  9. godard says:

    we have one of these at our house at university. The highest BACs are put on the wall of fame!

  10. Scouris says:

    What what is it measuring? The scale on that chart looks to go from 0 to 100, so … what? If you hit 100% you are over 0.05% (the limit in Aus to drive)?
    Yeah, documentation would be nice.

  11. Pa55w0rD says:

    .05? In Florida is .08 that means we are allowed to drink more.

  12. jones says:

    you’ve got to be squidding me.

    But this really is great.

  13. tantris says:

    or have it connected to your computer: no email or other messages, when over the limit.
    – and that might even be useful.

  14. aara says:

    I’m going for the high score!

  15. Spork says:

    Hate to break it to you, but I can have a few beers, then hold some everclear in my mouth for a minute and beat all your scores without drinking nearly as much. Suckas.

    Breath doesn’t determine BAC, BAC does. Breath CORRELATES with BAC.


  16. mattd says:

    I won.

  17. anufaq says:

    Spork, that would work, however, your friends should beat you up for cheating the system and kick your ass out.

    In australia you have to wait 10-15 minutes after your last drink before having a breath analysis.

  18. bob says:

    Ahhh, memories of the Munich Beer Festival…

  19. svengali says:


    BAC = Blood alcohol concentration. This is somewhat accurately determined by the alcohol content of the breath you exhale. Obviously having alcoholic substances in your mouth at the time of reading will screw it up big time.

  20. Gnarp says:

    In Sweden we have 0.2. crazy

    Cool hack.

  21. Tod says:

    I often thought building something like this could be quite useful — or quite dangerous, both of which have been pointed out.

    On the tech side, it does seem calibrating it would be the trick. Maybe a score 100 means 0.10%? Nah, too easy. But even if… even the units used by police here have problems with calibration and need regular checking and recalibrating.

    But if it could be done maybe responsible hosts or bar owners could legally hold somebody’s car keys until they fell to the legal limit.

    On an editorial note:
    Wow, 0.02% in Sweden and 0.05% in Australia (stereotyped home of big Fosters cans & “Croc Dundee”-style drinkers)… hard to believe many Americans complain about being in an over-regulated nanny state with most places allowing from 0.08 to 0.10% as the limit! The US can legally drive drunker than others.

    There’s something to be proud of!

  22. Nick says:

    Does anyone have a link to the source code for any part of this project, in particular the processing code?

  23. daniel says:

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