Question RE accuracy of Blood Alcohol Level

M.Kohm msk at maui.net
Tue Mar 6 17:17:16 EST 2001


I am working on a case that involves a deceased pedestrian, allegedly
drinking. The pedestrian was struck by a government worker and flew some
74 feet. He died at the scene. The police took a blood test several
hours after death and then autopsy doc did a test some two days later.
Test result was .21%, (or .021?) which we dispute given the pedestrian's
drinking pattern earlier that evening.

Pedestrian's cause of death was a ruptured aeorta. He essentially bled
out into his pleural cavity. I am wondering if result could be
inaccurate.

My question is, can an accurate test be taken from someone that has
"bled-out" into their internal chest cavity? What would be the proper
protocal for taking test? And would the concentration be potentially
inaccurate, given that blood is pooling in an area, not normally filled
with blood? (I am told by someone else that this would cause accuracy
problems). And lastly, could the autopsy doctor get an accurate blood
alcohol level with these injury levels two days post death? Would the
mere fact of two days passing, make the result questionable?

Thank You for any help, cites to articles, or thoughts on this matter

Matthew Kohm







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