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January 6, 1945


JAMA. 1945;127(1):30. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860010032012

Since 1937 the Committee to Study Problems of Motor Vehicle Accidents of the American Medical Association has studied carefully the relation of alcohol to traffic accidents. With the National Safety Council it has collaborated in the development of chemical tests for intoxication. In 1939 the committee reported that such tests were then compulsory in Sweden and Germany, were used in a number of other European countries and had been admitted as evidence in court in many states in this country. The committee recommended definite borderline limits for alcoholic influence in terms of amount of alcohol in the blood of the suspected drunken driver.

Legislation giving recognition to the dependability of these chemical tests has been enacted in Indiana, Maine, New York and Oregon, with Indiana pioneering in this legislative approach to the problem. In Indiana too the state police department has instituted a special course to train operators of chemical