Blood Tests: Why a Hospital Test is Suspect.

Hospital laboratory testing of serum alcohol involves use of the enzymatic method. The enzyme kits do not measure alcohol directly. They oxidize alcohol to acetaldehyde by the reduction of NAD+ to NADH. The amount of NADH produced
is therefore a function of the amount of alcohol present in the sample, and the amount of NADH produced is measured via a color reaction. However, if the blood also contains high levels of lactate (lactic acid) from either the administration of Ringer’s Lactate or the release of lactate from damaged tissues and also high levels of LDH (lactate dehydrogenase) enzyme from damaged tissues, then it is possible that the NAD+ from the enzyme kits will also oxidize lactate to pyruvate, thereby also producing NADH which would appear as “alcohol” in the test results. Therefore, it may be possible to have falsely high alcohol test results from serum alcohol tests using these hospital enzyme kits if both lactate and LDH are in high concentrations in the blood.

Most cases with only a hospital blood test are homicide by vehicle or serious injury by vehicle cases, and either of these charges carries up to fifteen years in prison.  Therefore, someone in this situation needs to understand that an expert such as a professor of toxicology must be on your team.  Otherwise, the State will introduce unrefuted evidence that your blood alcohol concentration was at a certain level, and you will be on your way to prison.  Don’t cut corners when your life and liberty are endangered; make the investment. 

Written by Allen Trapp who is board certified by the National College for DUI Defense and the author of Georgia DUI Survival Guide Visit Website Written by Allen Trapp who is board certified by the National College for DUI Defense and the author of Georgia DUI Survival Guide Visit Website

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