Noninvasive Detection of Alcohol Consumption Level in Drivers

About: The BCAMRL is a Mechatronics Research Lab, founded in 2014 on the campus of Bergen County Academies, a magnet high school within the Bergen County Technical School District. Students create innovations base...

The only device used to detect alcohol in the modern day is the breathalyzer.

Because of its intrusive nature, and its limitations, society needs a better way to detect alcohol. The breathalyzer is limited only to detecting blood alcohol content, and nothing else. While mostly accurate in that purpose, law enforcement must gain the consent of a person before using it. With no standard procedure for detecting alcohol in the occupation of security, it can be difficult to enforce the rule of ‘no alcohol’ at events like sporting events or school functions. Because of this, a new device needs to be made to fill these roles. The Alcohol Detection Wand will provide an unobtrusive means for law enforcement and security to detect alcohol in the air. As a handheld device, similar to a security metal detector, the wand would be able to pick up readings from a reasonable distance, and will be able to provide easy-to-read feedback to the user

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Step 1: Parts List

Here are the items you will need:

1. PVC 2" pipe

2. 2 2" end caps

3. 1 Arduino Nano micro controller

4. Assorted jumper wires

5. 2 alcohol sensors

6. 3 LED (Red, Yellow, Green)

Step 2: Frame Construction

The alcohol wand uses a 2" PVC pipe and 2 end caps for the housing of the electronics. The PVC pipe was cut down the middle for better access. Two holes were drilled at the top for the alcohol sensors housing. The wand was lastly painted silver. The sensors were secured in place with hot glue. .

Step 3: Electronics

The prototype configuration used and Arduino Nano 5 V module which was connected to 2 alcohol sensors and three colored LED (Red, Yellow, Green). A portable 12 volt cell phone backup battery was used as the main power module for the alcohol Wand. The wiring from the 2 sensors was connected directly to the Nano micro controller. See below the pinning/wiring color configuration .You can use any colored wires you wish just track the colors to the pins .

The pinning configurations for Arduino Nano:

analog 1: MQ - 3 sensor 1 Red wire

analog 2: MQ - 3 sensor 2 Yellow wire

GND -Ground on Arduino Nano Black wire

5V - 5 volts on the Arduino Nano Red wire

pin 3 LED Red

pin 4 LED Yellow

pin 5 LED Green :

Step 4: Code

The following code was designed around two alcohol sensors. See electronic section for pinning configuration.

int red = 2;
int yel = 3; int gre = 4;

int s1 = 1; int s2 = 2;

void setup() { Serial.begin(9600); pinMode(red,OUTPUT); pinMode(yel,OUTPUT); pinMode(gre,OUTPUT); digitalWrite(red, HIGH); delay(180000);//3 minutes digitalWrite(yel, HIGH); delay(180000);//3 minutes digitalWrite(gre, HIGH); }

void loop() { int value = readAlcohol(); digitalWrite(red, LOW); digitalWrite(yel, LOW); digitalWrite(gre, LOW); if (value>=200 && value<280) { //low levels digitalWrite(yel, HIGH); } else if (value>=280){ //High levels digitalWrite(red, HIGH); } else{ digitalWrite(gre,HIGH); } } int readAlcohol(){ int valX = 0; int val1; int val2; int val3;

int valY = 0; int vala; int valb; int valc;

val1 = analogRead(s1); val2 = analogRead(s1); val3 = analogRead(s1);

vala = analogRead(s2); valb = analogRead(s2); valc = analogRead(s2); valX = (val1+val2+val3)/3; valY = (vala+valb+valc)/3;

if(valX>valY){ return valX; }

else{ return valY; }


Step 5: Supporting Documentation



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    2 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    With the description provided, I'm wondering how you specifically identify the individual from which the device is taking a sample. If this is intended to be used in public places, and the device is 'non-invasive' (assuming no contact is required), the device must be sampling free-flowing air, which could come from a number of sources in the vicinity. If the process then is to 'reasonably' isolate individuals and test them one at a time, there are several breathalysers on the market that are non-invasive / non-contact. Just Google 'non-contact breathalysers'. I have experienced the use of one such device myself at a random roadside breath test. The officer points the machine at your mouth and asks you to recite the alphabet, or Mary Had a Little Lamb - depending on what mood they're in :) - and a reading is taken from your exhaled breath. Yours being the only breath the device could be reading given reasonable isolation.

    With your description of how this wand would be used; like a 'metal detector', the device would then also detect alcohol 'on' the person - which may not have been consumed - such as a spilled drink. If this information was then used to exclude this person from the venue / event, they would surely have the right to question the method of detection, and stand on their right to be 'presumed innocent until proven guilty'. And to prove beyond doubt that they have consumed alcohol, you MUST take a breath or blood sample. This is the only way to prove that they have alcohol IN their body. Anything less is speculation.

    Also, since no information is provided, and I can't decipher what your code does or how it interacts with the Green, Yellow and Red LED's, can you explain what they indicate? It's probably safe to assume 'no alcohol', 'some alcohol' and 'lots of alcohol', respectively, but when it comes to making accusations, especially where individual / human rights are concerned, you need to know fairly precisely the amount of alcohol a person has consumed based on the test performed, and make a judgement call from that detailed information. What level of alcohol consumption is acceptable? Unless of course the venue / event specifically requires 'zero alcohol'. Then a binary solution would suffice.

    I'm sure I could get this device to work from your instructions, but I would then want to know exactly how it works and what it is telling me. I think you should consider providing further instruction for the operation and use of this device, given the implications it will create when used.

    1 answer

    Answer 1 year ago

    Greetings, thank you for your interest in the noninvasive alcohol detection device. Your assumptions were all correct. Please note this was a high school project and was never test outside our lab. We used assortment of alcohol non drinkable to test circuit theory. You are correct the LED's will turn-on just as you stated. I am truly sorry the code was not broken down further. In our classroom testing the sensors took sometime before they were able to detect. I cannot add any additional information since the project has already concluded and the developer of the project is no longer available. Thank you