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.


25 thoughts on “DIY Breathalyzer May Be The Hit Of The Party

  1. 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. 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.


  3. 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.

  4. 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.


  5. *correction*

    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.

  6. 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!

    1. “Hold the car keys”? Therefore they would they would at first have to acquire the keys, and that means forcefully, except I would be comatose.
      In Austria the limit is 0,5 promille, it was 0,8 until around the beginning 1990ies. Then some drunk driver with much more then 2 promille killed some children – which is of course really sad. But as polticians wanted to pretend to do something useful, the reduced the limit from 0.8 to 0.5. Which is really logic – NO! 2.0 or more were already illegal before, but that did not keep this guy from doing what he did.

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