ALCOHOL TOXICOLOGY SERVICES
expert testimony regarding all aspects of alcohol in the body, including the
of alcohol in the body.
Extrapolation of times and percentages of alcohol amounts.
of alcohol needed to reach a given percentage for both men and women.
the blood alcohol levels at times before the drawing of the blood, such as the
time of death or time of an accident.
of drinks to reach a recorded BAC.
of alcohol eliminated for a given time.
opinion testimony regarding the level of intoxication of a subject.
expert testimony regarding all aspects of breath testing and the Breathalyzer.
expert testimony regarding all applications of Regulations regarding alcohol in
persons involved in driving while intoxicated.
testimony regarding other breath testing instruments.
expert testimony regarding applications of the law regarding testing of
all documents from the police department's investigation of investigations of
persons drinking alcohol.
all medical documents of testing of persons for alcohol use.
traffic accident reports, Alcoholic Influence reports, Accuracy Inspection
reports, statements, depositions, interrogatories, and all documents regarding
alcohol that pertains to the case.
testing results of other laboratories either by blood, breath or urine.
travel to crime scene to collect samples.
test fire guns and collect samples for analysis.
of samples collected and / or analyzed by a state laboratory or others.
perform examination of any type of collection kit.
of acid swab samples to be tested by Atomic Absorption.
of other laboratory reports and SEM/EDX data.
a written report of GSR finding and related testing.
attorneys in trial preparation and questioning of witnesses.
consultation, analysis and Expert Testimony regarding all aspects of Gunshot
FORENSIC TESTS FOR ALCOHOL
Drunkenness ● Public Intoxication ● DUI ●
● Open Container ● Minors ● Alcoholism ●
Alcohol Concentration (BAC) measures the amount of alcohol in a person's system
at that moment. It is used mostly to determine if someone is currently
intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol. The same is true for a
Breathalyzer of saliva alcohol test. Good for a few hours.
Alcohol measures the amount of alcohol excreted from a person's system. It determines if the person has consumed
alcohol recently (up to about a day). It
does not determine if someone is currently intoxicated or under the influence
of alcohol, just recent consumption.
Glucuronide (EtG) is a specific metabolite of ethanol and can only be found
when alcohol has been recently consumed. EtG can be detected in urine for three to four
days after alcohol consumption, thus indicating alcohol consumption during that
time period. It does not determine if
someone is currently intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol. This test is most widely used to determine if
someone has consumed any alcohol, for example, over the weekend. Used frequently in Family Law for weekend
Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin (CDT) protein test determines if someone has
been engaging in HEAVY or unhealthy alcohol use (e.g. abuse). Typically, a POSITIVE CDT test result
indicates that a person has consumed multiple alcoholic beverages on an almost
daily basis for the past 1-4 weeks or longer. The %CDT is the most reliable
alcohol abuse marker available. This now
provides for a definitive objective forensic lab test to determine HABITUAL DRUNKENESS. The following table highlights the different
forensic alcohol tests that are available through my office for determining the
extent and degree of alcohol use.
hours to 1 day
3 - 4 days
1 - 4 weeks
are typically not available forensically from a private Dr.'s office or
a hospital lab. Hospital labs are prohibited by internal policy from performing
any outside tests for legal purposes. Affiliate offices are available nationwide.
FORENSIC CDT/GGT TEST FOR
DETECTION OF HEAVY ALCOHOL USE
Deficient Transferrin (CDT) testing is cleared by the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) as a biological marker for heavy alcohol consumption. Heavy alcohol consumption for most people is
the consumption of multiple drinks on a regular (e.g. daily) basis. Heavy alcohol consumption for a period of one
week or longer can elevate CDT protein levels above normal.
is an indication that excessive drinking is disrupting the normal chemistry of
the liver. It also means that excessive
drinking may be affecting other body organs, especially the brain, and thus may
be harmful to the person's medical or social / family functioning.
alleged habitual drunkenness can be objectively substantiated with the use of
this test. However, as with many
laboratory tests, not everyone is a responder.
Up to approximately 10 to 20% of heavy drinkers may pass this test. Therefore, as with any forensic evaluation,
the absence of evidence (a Negative test result) does not prove to condition
does not exist. Contrarily, a Positive
test indicates (with a 95% specificity) that heavy alcohol consumption on a
regular basis does exist.
protein level typically gradually returns to normal over 2 to 4 weeks following
cessation of alcohol consumption, depending on the level of elevation. The CDT test is extremely sensitive to alcohol
relapse and is an excellent tool to determine even minor relapses. Since CDT can remain elevated for two to four
weeks, monitoring for relapse would not be needed more often than once
approximately every four weeks.
is very specific (>95%) for heavy alcohol use. CDT is the most reliable
forensic alcohol abuse test to date. The CDT test yields useful objective
forensic information for detection of chronic heavy alcohol use to aid in the
identification of alcohol related diseases, including cognitive deficits and
changes in mental functioning, as well as monitoring during treatment for
alcohol abuse. CDT testing has been well documented in the peer reviewed
medical literature as a marker for chronic alcohol consumption. It is
extensively used in D.U.I. cases.
heavy alcohol consumption of a chronic nature (weeks to months) can also
elevate GGT liver enzyme. GGT is a liver
enzyme that responds to excessive, chronic metabolic burden placed upon the
liver. Elevated GGT can be associated
with persons who are alcohol dependent. GGT is used conjunctively with the CDT test,
as it is the first liver enzyme that frequently is elevated in persons engaged
in heavy alcohol use excessively and/or chronically.
has been used by our office for court cases, mainly Family Court, for years and
is widely accepted as a valuable forensic laboratory test. Currently, our office is the only forensic
provider of this test. In addition to
performing the test, clients are also offered a consultation as to how the test
works, interviewed to ascertain their current level of alcohol consumption,
pattern, and type, and the quantitative results of the test are correlated with
the reported alcohol consumption profile. The comprehensive work up typically also
includes an interpretation of the findings as to the health and wellness
consequences of the level of alcohol consumption the test indicates.
The CDT test
is an objective forensic tool to determine if the level of alcohol consumption
is at an unhealthy level (physically and mentally) specifically for the person
being tested. The cost of the test is
$180 and includes the CDT test, the GGT liver enzyme test, and the
comprehensive work up. The blood
specimen is collected in a Serum Separator Tube (SST), spun (centrifuged), and
sent to our Charleston, SC lab. Results are typically available in one to three
GUNSHOT RESIDUE FORENSIC
samples by Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive X-Ray analysis
(SEM / EDX).
of items collected from crime scenes, photographs, hands and face of subjects,
clothing of subjects, gloves worn or from areas near a discharging gun.
FORENSIC HAIR TESTING FOR
SUBSTANCES OF ABUSE
Step 1- Specimen Collection: The specimen collection process is a critical
component in the testing process. The
collector must be aware that there is considerable incentive of the person being
tested to make the outcome of the test NEGATIVE. Consequences of a POSITIVE test in court cases
can be severe. Care must be exercised to
insure identification of the person being tested. We employ two methods to
check Photo ID and we take a photograph that is printed directly on the report.
Many potential problems exist with hair
collection. Hair can be adulterated,
damaged, or contaminated prior to arriving for the drug test (bleached, permed,
special shampoos). Hair can be
substituted with weaves and extensions. Hair can be of various lengths and represent
various time periods.
a proper specimen is collected, it must be processed in a manner to avoid
specimen mix-up with another, contamination by the collector, and contamination
by certain instruments used in the collection process that may have been used
on a previous person that was positive for drug use. Chain-of-custody must be initiated and the
specimen must be sealed in individual tamper evident packaging and protected at
all times until tested at the laboratory. Hair specimen collections must be performed by
a skilled, experienced hair specimen collector knowledge of the variables and
issues and know which hair to collect and how to collect.
Step 2-Laboratory Testing: The
laboratory takes little responsibility other than testing the specimen
provided, as is, and performing the test requested. The laboratory has no knowledge of the case
parameters, how the specimen was collected, or how the results of the
laboratory findings will be used or interpreted. The laboratory only reports the findings of
the laboratory analysis. Few drug
testing providers are aware that there are differences in hair drug tests. Most all facilities use a standard
"workplace" drug test. This
test is designed to prevent drug addicts from being hired on the job. Unfortunately, this type of testing is also
unknowingly being used in forensic cases. The hair drug testing performed through our
office is a "forensic-level" drug test. This test analyzes the hair for more drugs and
at lower levels. This test is more
discerning, more sensitive, and more inclusive. Since this level of testing better determines
the true state of involvement with drugs by the person being tested, it is
considered more accurate. We can also
test for prescription drugs of abuse.
Step 3-Interpretation of Laboratory Findings:
It is critically important
that the laboratory findings be interpreted by a Toxicologist in order to
determine the meaning of the laboratory findings, i.e. whether or not drug
abuse has occurred, and to what extent. Examples of non-drug abuse are: (1) Cocaine is
routinely used for nasal surgery and certain nasal procedures. (2) Marijuana (THC) is available as a
prescription drug known as Marinol for the treatment of nausea, cancer, and
HIV. (3) The prescription drug Benzphetamine converts to methamphetamine in the
body. None of these cases would be
classified as drug abuse. A toxicologist is a professional skilled to perform
interpretation of drug test laboratory findings. All drug tests should be evaluated by a toxicologist.
we can perform Segmental Hair Analysis of various time periods e.g. 1 month, 6
months, 3 months before the most recent one month, and so forth. The cost of
the test is $155 and includes the comprehensive work up of hair examination,
testing and interpretation. The hair
specimen can be collected in one of our offices nationwide. Results are typically available in one to