Borkenstein Alcohol Course – Virtual: May 2021


  • Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 from 11:00am – 4:00pm ET
  • Wednesday, May 19th, 2021 from 11:00am – 4:15pm ET
  • Thursday, May 20th, 2021 from 11:00am – 4:15pm ET
  • Tuesday, May 25th, 2021 from 11:00am – 4:15pm ET
  • Wednesday, May 26th, 2021 from 11:00am – 4:15pm ET
  • Thursday, May 27th, 2021 from 11:00am – 3:15pm ET

*All presentations must be attended to receive credit

Click Here to see the Schedule!

Dear Borkenstein Alumni and Friends of the Course:

We are pleased to announce that enrollment is open for a virtual version of the Robert F Borkenstein Course on “Alcohol and Highway Safety: Testing, Research and Litigation” in May 2021! The program will run in two successive weeks of 3-half day sessions, on May 18th, 19th, 20th, and May 25th, 26th, and 27th, 2021. With this virtual program going forward we are cancelling the planned in-person course on campus at Indiana University in June 2021.

Join our customary world-renowned faculty members, and some new content for the course that has set the standard for preparing toxicologists, chemists, analysts, law enforcement officers, and traffic safety professionals, to have the most relevant and up to date information on the fundamentals of alcohol and its relationship to traffic safety and driver impairment.

Our instructors are among the best-known names in their field from around the world, and all are involved in investigation, research and testimony on alcohol, drugs and traffic safety topics. We continually update our course content to ensure it reflects the issues of concern and interest to our students. Visit our faculty pages to see the current lecture topics, summaries and resource documents.

The course was founded in 1958, by Professor Robert F. Borkenstein, the inventor of the Breathalyzer® and a professor of Criminal Justice at Indiana University. It is a requirement in many state programs for analysts to complete the training before they go to court. For over sixty years the course has helped over 5,000 individuals from every US state, and over 20 countries get quickly up to speed on:

  • The fundamentals of the chemistry, toxicology and pharmacology of alcohol,
  • How it is tested for in a forensically defensible manner in blood and breath,
  • The specific effects of alcohol on the skills needed for safe driving,
  • What we learned from laboratory based, and on-road driving studies with alcohol,
  • The basis for the field sobriety tests used to detect impairment in drivers,
  • Statistical treatment of test data and measurement uncertainty in alcohol analysis,
  • Use of Widmark and retrograde extrapolation calculations,
  • Typical court challenges to blood and breath alcohol test results,
  • Basic testimony skills and what to expect when you go to court,
  • The legal precedents that govern the admissibility of tests and expert testimony in court,
  • The Capstone event is the faculty panel discussion of participants questions and concerns from cases or issues they have encountered in court.

The Faculty and Course Directors have worked to create a user-friendly schedule, broken out into 6 *3.5 hour sessions spread over two weeks, to allow participants to fit this critical training in around their regular work assignments, and make the extensive content engaging and manageable in the online learning environment. We have condensed some of the curriculum material and collaborated on reducing redundancy to retain the complete syllabus and give students the full academic experience they would expect from the in-person version of the course.

Although virtual, we will be limiting registration to encourage more instructor participant interaction. Attendees will receive a certificate of completion of the Robert F Borkenstein Course on Alcohol and Highway Safety: Testing, Research and Litigation.


Robert F Borkenstein Course on Alcohol and Highway Safety: Testing, Research and Litigation

Planned In-Person

• Indiana University, Bloomington IN: December 5 – 10, 2021

• More information at:

Robert F Borkenstein Course on Drugs: Effects on Human Performance and Behavior

This companion course on the effects of drugs on driving and the state of knowledge of drugs on human performance and impairment has been running since 2002. It provides a primer on the pharmacology of drugs most frequently involved in suspected impaired driving cases, covering opioids, stimulants, CNS depressants, Hallucinogens, Novel Psychoactive Substances, (NPS), and the latest information on the impacts of cannabis on driving. The course also discusses recommendations on testing procedures, scope and cut-offs, as well as guidance for effective testimony in these challenging cases. Our instructors are internationally recognized for their leadership in this area, presenting, testifying and publishing extensively and excited about sharing this knowledge with our participants. Looking forward to a hybrid online/in person program in September 2021!

Hybrid: Virtual/In Person:

• Science History Institute, Philadelphia PA: August 30 – September 3, 2021

• More information at:

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