Home » Module 4: Alcohol and the Breathalyzer Test

Module 4: Alcohol and the Breathalyzer Test

Description of the module

Once alcohol reaches the bloodstream, it equilibrates with different body tissues, including the lungs. Alcohol is a volatile molecule that can be eliminated from the body in exhaled air. Students will learn how alcohol equilibrates with lung air spaces, and how to estimate how much alcohol is in the blood based on what is in the exhaled air. The module covers concepts in biology, chemistry, and math including:

  1. passive diffusion across a biological membrane
  2. the basic anatomy of the circulatory system
  3. the chemical principles of volatility
  4. dynamic equilibrium of a biological system
  5. oxidation and reduction reactions
  6. the use of ratios in scientific calculations