CARBON MONOXIDE, ALCOHOL, AND DRUGS IN FATAL ACCIDENTS: DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, 1956-168

Since its inception in March, 1956, the Office of the Medical Examiner of Dade County has attempted to acquire data that might aid in elucidating the causes of motor vehicle accidents, furthering educational and legislative pursuits, and indicating areas requiring additional study and research. A part of this program has included a search for exogenous chemicals that might affect driving performance. As facilities and personnel became available, our laboratory has increased the number of tests applied to vehicular fatalities. Today it is routine for a dead driver to be tested for ethanol, methanol, carbon monoxide, barbiturates, amphetamines, and those other drugs that are easily detectable through the use of routine ultraviolet spectrophotometry of acidic and basic chlorogorm extracts of body fluids or tissues. The methods used included a modified Nicoux dichromate reduction of a steam distillate for alcohol. A chromotropic acid color reaction is used to screen samples for methanol. Carbon monoxide is determined by the Gettler-Freimuth palladium chloride reduction. Ultraviolet spectrophotometric analysis is routinely performed upon an acidic and basic chloroform extract utilizing a Beckman recording ultraviolet spectrophotometer. When indicated by information received from police investigators, additional specific toxicologic tests are made for those chemicals and drugs not expected to be revealed by the above routine tests.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at Committee on Skeletal Systems, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., October 11, 1968.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Marcel Dekker, Incorporated

    270 Madison Avenue
    New York, NY  USA  10016
  • Authors:
    • Davis, J H
  • Publication Date: 1974

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 597-613
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00131812
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 4 1976 12:00AM