Alcohol & Drug-Related Injury Cases & the Constantly Developing Area of Toxicology Admissibility

healthcare professionals testing for evidence for Toxicology Admissibility

The area of toxicology admissibility is a complicated legal issue that comes in personal injury cases time and time again. Sometimes, when a court takes biological samples, like blood or urine samples, as evidence, it can raise more problems than they solve. 

It’s become known that urine samples can show traces of drugs and alcohol from an earlier instance that does not correspond with the time of an accident, but how can this affect your case? Our skilled personal injury team at Turnbull, Holcomb & LeMoine, PC are here to provide insight on navigating your client’s alcohol and drug-related cases. Read on to learn more.

What is Toxicology Admissibility?  

If evidence is admissible in court, that means it is relevant to the case and isn’t considered hearsay, prejudicial, confusing, or a waste of time. Toxicology admissibility is when evidence of drug or alcohol use can be introduced against a defendant in a case.

When presenting toxicology reports admitted as evidence, it’s important to argue its importance to the question the court is trying to answer while going through the trial. 

Most Common Accidents Involving Alcohol or Drug Use  

It is a known fact that alcohol and drug use can impair the user’s motor and cognitive abilities, commonly leading to a variety of accidents.

  • Car accidents: Drugs and alcohol are a factor of nearly one-third of all automobile accidents. 
  • Workplace accidents: Alcohol or drugs are commonly found in the bloodstreams of those involved in workplace accidents, with 16% of ER patients testing positive for alcohol following a workplace injury.
  • Intentional violence: Alcohol and drug use affects a person’s mental state, as well, reducing inhibitions and leading to violent acts that may not occur while sober.
  • Falls: Whether it’s at a bar, a sports game, or otherwise, we’ve all seen the stumbling drunk person. This could lead to that person falling and being injured or causing another patron to trip or fall due to their negligence. 

Understanding a “Presumptive Positive” Test    

A presumptive positive is when a urine test does not present a definitive finding on the status of the substances in a person’s system at the time of the accident. The key here is “at the time of the accident.” A presumptive positive cannot establish a person’s level of impairment when the accident occurred.

The results commonly come from a rapid drug test that only yields a positive or negative. These results may be sent off for further testing if that is available or necessary.


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