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.