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April 10, 1954


JAMA. 1954;154(15):1279. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940490043013

The growing use in the United States of chemical tests of the blood, urine, and breath for the apprehension and prosecution of persons driving while under the influence of alcoholic beverages has left little doubt in the minds of conscientious law enforcement agencies and physicians that these tests can effectively aid in protecting the innocent and convicting the guilty. After studying the court records of all cases involving charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages that appeared before the court of common pleas in New Haven, Conn., during a period of 40 months, Lester, Greenberg, and Tiernan1 recently concluded that a considerably higher percentage of guilty pleas ensues when chemical test evidence is introduced.

In the cases examined, the concentration of alcohol in the blood was found to range from 0.14 to 0.40%, indicating a consumption of more than one-half pint (250 cc.)

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