Extrapolation Myths by Matt Davenport

Paul Glover isn't going away, and the more we all know about his tenuous grasp of reality the better armed we all are, and the more we can help each other. Download journal articles from "Forensic Science International" and "Journal of Studies on Alcohol." Both are peer-reviewed, and Paul himself uses his reading of "peer-reviewed journals" as part of his basis for both being an expert and for his formulation of the "average elimination rate" used in his retrograte extrapolation fiction.

I encourage everyone to comb these journals. Two articles I found that point out what an indefinite "science" this is are "Absorption, Distribution and Elimination of Alcohol: Highway Safety Aspects" by Kurt M. Dubowski, Ph. D., and "Disappearance Rate of Alcohol from the blood of drunk drivers calculated from two consecutive samples; what do the results really mean?" by W. Neuteboom and A.W. Jones.

Neuteboom/Jones make it clear that the straight-line elimination ("zero-order elimination" or the "Widmark Curve") assumption, used by Glover, is not as accurate as Michaelis-Menten kinetics, which is more of a reverse exponential curve. Furthermore, in the first article, Dr. Dubowski makes it clear that the rate of alcohol absorption (speed at which one arrives at post-absorption) is "greatly influenced by the nature and concentration of the alcoholic beverage, food intake and a multitude of other physical, biological, psychological and time factors that combine with the individual's sex, body weight and body water." He further notes that his own studies----Peer-reviewed, so available fodder for cross-examination---"found elapsed time from end of alcohol intake to peak blood alcohol concentration varying from 14 to 138 minutes, a nearly 10-fold variation." In other studies on just men, he found "a 14-fold variation between absorption times."

Why is this important? Paul uses two things in his formula for retrograde extrapolation: "prior event" and "blood test event", which in my case were the reported time of the wreck and the time of the blood draw. The information given him by the ADA did not include my client's gender, weight, age, time of beginning drinking, type of drink, time of last drinking, meals eaten, medications, etc. Paul immediately ASSUMED that my client was in post-absorption at the time of the wreck. Given the time variations found in peer-reviewed studies published in journals in his own field (well, among actual Ph. D.'s in his field, since he is "Mr." Paul Glover), this assumption would be laughable if it wasn't so disturbing.