Alcohol Detection


Inspired by the rise of drunk-driving related accidents in the winter, I plan to build an alcohol detection sensor. I’m excited to experiment with an Arduino to learn the basics of embedded systems.

The project will involve an alcohol sensor that analyzes if a person’s breath contains alcohol. If it does, a LED lightbulb will turn on, and a message will display on a LCD Display. These components will be contained in a 3D-printed case.

Although it is a relately small project, there are so many further project possibilities I can integrate with the alcohol sensor. For instance, I can connect the sensor’s readings to a communication pipeline that alerts family members for help if the driver is intoxicated.


What steps are you going to take to build it? What tools are you going to use? What will you do first, second, third, etc.?

  1. Acquire the materials listed in the Budget section
  2. CAD a prototype of a compact case that fills all the components inside. 3D-print the case at my school’s robotics club.
  3. Learn the circuit diagram and pinouts of the alcohol sensor module with this tutorial.
  4. Assemble the circuit.
  5. Program the Arduino, alcohol sensor, display, and LED in the Arduino IDE.
  6. Test the entire product using the lid of a bottle of Ethanol.
  7. Likely at the end or after the week of making: expand on the project (e.g., the communication pipeline idea mentioned in the Summary section).


What materials will you need for your project? Where will you get them? How much does it cost? Please include all materials, including components you already own. Make sure to factor in shipping costs and sales tax.

Arduino Uno$30
LED Lights$8
MQ-3 Alcohol Sensor$8
16x2 LCD Display$6.50
Breadboard and Jumper Wires$13
9V Battery$8
9V Battery Connector$5
Shipping + Tax$20