First of a kind legal article

New error risks in forensic alcohol metabolite testing

Published: 14th December 2022

Chaynee Hodgetts has published an article in the Solicitors Journal on the risks of false positives in forensic alcohol testing

The article is understood to be the first of its kind for the legal literature, in scrutinising the risk that false positive alcohol metabolite testing results could potentially be caused by hair bleaching and hand sanitiser.

Chaynee, one of our newest tenants, has over 10 years’ experience as an academic and Law Lecturer, and is now an Honorary Lecturer in Criminal Law and Medical Law, assisting at both Bangor University and on MSc programmes at QMUL’s Centre for Trauma Sciences (C4TS) at the Blizard Institute.

The article explains alcohol metabolite testing (tests for EtG, EtPa and FAEE), and highlights the little-known, but highly relevant, effect of hair bleaching and the risk of false positive results. It also explores a novel and original issue, only just developing in the scientific literature – and, to date, not explored in case precedent – whether alcohol-based hand sanitiser (ABHS) could be leading to false positive errors in forensic alcohol testing in criminal and family cases.

The full article is free to access and share here: