DUI Blood Testing by Gas Chromatography

by baronedefensefirm on November 12, 2009


Defending Drinking Drivers

Chapter Two of Defending Drinking Drivers (Barone/James Publishing) covers chemical testing. This chapter has been nearly completely re-written for the 2010 update.  A portion of the newly updated section on gas chromatography follows:

The process of gas chromatography involves the use of an instrument called a gas chromatograph (GC) to separate and analyze compounds that can be vaporized without decomposing the compound. Gas chromatography is particularly well suited to the separation of volatile organic compounds.

Human blood is a mixture of various substances and left alone, it is very difficult to analyze. However, some of the components of blood are volatile organic compounds, and the point of GC is to separate and analyze the volatile organic compounds that may be within the blood sample.

Thus, with the proper extractions procedures or for volatiles such as alcohols by use of a method called “head space,” various foreign components of the blood such as drugs, drug metabolites, and alcohols in blood can be measured and identified. In a drunk driving case we are primarily interested in the volatile ethyl (beverage) alcohol, but there are other potential volatiles of interest, such as acetone, which might be of interest where the driver was experiencing a diabetic episode.

The rest of this section can be previewed at the James Publishing Blog.  A copy of Defending Drinking Drivers case also be purchased at the site.

Here is a video on gas chromatography that explains the process somewhat differently:

If you are facing a Michigan drunk driving charge, and you took a blood test, call the Barone Defense Firm today for your FREE Case Evaluation.


This post was written by...

– who has written 203 posts on Michigan DUI and License Restoration Lawyers.

Patrick T. Barone is the author on two books on DUI defense including the well respected two volume treatise Defending Drinking Drivers (James Publishing), and The DUI Book – A Citizen’s Guide to Understanding DUI Litigation in America. He is also the author of a monthly DUI defense column for the Criminal Defense Newsletter, published by Michigan’s State Appellate Defender’s Office. Mr. Barone is an adjunct professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School where he teaches Drunk Driving Law and Practice. He is also on the faculty of the Criminal Defense Attorney’s of Michigan’s Trial Lawyer’s College where he provides trial skills training to Michigan’s criminal defense practitioners. Mr. Barone lectures nationally on various DUI defense topics, and he has appeared in newspapers, on television and on radio as a drunk driving defense expert. Mr. Barone has been certified as an instructor and practitioner of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and has also attended a 24-hour certification course at National Patent Analytical Corporation (the manufacturer of the DataMaster) and has thereby been deemed competent by the manufacturer to operate, perform essential diagnostic verifications and calibration checks on the DataMaster. Mr. Barone is a Sustaining Member of College for DUI Defense. Mr. Barone is the principal and founding member of The Barone Defense Firm, whose practice is limited exclusively to defending drinking drivers. The Firm is headquartered in Birmingham, Michigan.

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