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December 21, 1940


JAMA. 1940;115(25):2200-2201. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810510074029

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To the Editor: —  The article "The Effect of Alcohol on Driving Skill" by Newman and Fletcher (The Journal, November 9, p. 1600), questions the value of chemical tests for intoxication. This paper demands an answer, since the conclusions of the authors are warranted neither from their own experimental data nor from their interpretation of the writings of others.The authors direct their attack particularly to the recommendations of the Committee on Tests for Intoxication of the National Safety Council, and incidentally to the 1939 Report of the Committee of the American Medical Association for the Study of Problems of Motor Vehicle Accidents. These committees have agreed that certain levels of alcohol in the blood or their equivalents in other body fluids are associated with a definite loss of that clearness of intellect and self control which an individual would normally possess. Although the committees realize that there is no

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