History of Breathalyzers
What is a Breathalyzer?


Prof. Robert F. Borkenstein began his career with the Indiana State Police in 1936. He invented the Breathalyzer in 1954 and retired in 1958 as captain in charge of Laboratory Services.

His academic career began in 1958 when he received an A.B. degree from Indiana University. Also in 1958, he became a professor at Indiana University's Department of Forensic Studies.

In 1963, Prof. Borkenstein received an honorary D.Sc. degree from Wittenberg University. He became chairman of the Department of Forensic Studies. In 1971 Prof. Borkenstein became director of the Center for Studies of Law in Action.

In 1987, he received an LL.D., or honorary doctor of laws, degree from Indiana. Such an honor for a working professor is extremely rare.

Prof. Borkenstein's awards, honors and memberships are too numerous to mention. He is known worldwide for his contribution to the field of chemical tests for blood and breath alcohol.

Intensely curious about the human condition, Prof. Borkenstein inspired others to higher levels of achievement. His beloved wife, Marjorie, died in 1998. Prof. Borkenstein passed away August 10, 2002.

The other faculty members carry on the tradition of this brilliant and wonderful contributor to the field of alcohol and drug research and traffic safety.

NOTE:  Information from Indiana University faculty page. - Information on breathalyzer products and services