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September 6, 1958


Author Affiliations

Olive View, Calif.

JAMA. 1958;168(1):48-49. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.63000010014013

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The reliability, accuracy, and specificity of the various chemical tests for the alcoholic content of the breath, blood, urine, or other materials have been extensively determined. The correlation between the level of alcohol in the body fluids and the physiological and psychological reactions of the subject have been verified by a multitude of observers. The legality of such examinations has been established not only by scholarly briefs and local, state, and federal court decisions but also by specific legislative enactments.

In any particular instance, however, the possibilities of error in the collection, identification, analysis, and recording of results of the tests may cast doubt on their applicability. The bare report of a laboratory finding may fail to convince a judge or jury in the absence of confirmatory clinical data, especially in the face of a stout denial on the part of the culprit and the array of witnesses who testify

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