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May 2, 1959


Author Affiliations

Denver; Des Moines, Iowa

Technical Director, Headquarters, U. S. Army Medical Research and Nutrition Laboratory, Fitzsimons Army Hospital (Dr. Friedemann); Director of Chemistry, Iowa Methodist Hospital and Raymond Blank Memorial Hospital for Children, and Criminalist, state of Iowa, Department of Public Safety (Dr. Dubowski). Dr. Dubowski is now at the J. Hillis Miller Health Center, University of Florida, Gainesville.

JAMA. 1959;170(1):47-71. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.63010010006010

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Chemical analysis of the blood, urine, saliva, or breath gives the following information: first, it establishes the presence or absence of alcohol in the body; second, it determines the concentration in body fluids and tissues; third, it permits calculation of the approximate total quantity of alcohol in the body; and, finally, it furnishes the basis for calculation of the approximate volume of alcoholic liquor or beverage which may have been ingested within some hours prior to collection of the sample. Thus, chemical analysis not only furnishes objective data on the presence of alcohol in the body but also checks the reliability of statements with respect to ingestion of alcohol.

Observations on the subject's physical and mental state and the results of chemical tests together constitute the data on which judgment of the degree of intoxication is made.

Of the more than 200 analytical methods for ethyl alcohol, the majority have

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