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Estimates questioned in drunken-driving cases

Posted: 11:24 AM, Oct 04, 2015
Updated: 2015-10-04 18:24:57Z

Legal experts across the country are debating the effectiveness of something called "retrograde extrapolation."

It's used mostly in drunken-driving cases to estimate the level of a person's intoxication, usually when they are arrested hours after a car crash.

A Long Island prosecutor is using it to prosecute a man accused in a fiery crash that killed a father and his two young children. Although the driver had a blood-alcohol reading below the legal limit when he was arrested, authorities claim he was well over the limit when the crash occurred.

The driver's attorney and drunken-driving experts around the country contend the extrapolation is an unreliable measure of a person's intoxication.

Some states require prosecutors to merely use the blood-alcohol readings taken at the time of a person's arrest.