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Article
August 7, 1943

THE RELIABILITY OF CHEMICAL TESTS FOR ALCOHOLIC INTOXICATION: THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SELECTION OF PROPER MATERIAL FOR ANALYSIS

Author Affiliations

Toxicologist, City of Kingston Laboratories; Attending Surgeon, Kingston Hospital KINGSTON, N. Y.

JAMA. 1943;122(15):996-1002. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840320014004
Abstract

The successful prosecution of violators of the drunken driver laws is dependent on an accurate medical diagnosis and the proper presentation of the evidence in court. Many physicians have found by painful experience that the usual symptoms of alcoholic intoxication do not necessarily establish this diagnosis. It is essential not only to examine the suspect thoroughly but also to demonstrate the presence of enough alcohol in the body tissues to produce these symptoms, for it may be necessary to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the impairment of the ability of the driver to operate a motor vehicle was the result of the effects of alcohol and was not due to other drugs or to such conditions as fatigue, injury or disease.

The reliability of chemical tests for intoxication has been the subject of much dispute, but the results of our studies indicate that there is a definite correlation between

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