Judgment has now been delivered in a case involving Hair Alcohol Testing (LB Richmond v B & W  EWCA 2903). You should be aware that I appeared in that case for Trimega Labs as intervenor. I will be doing my best to draw some practice lessons from it in further blogposts but the headlines are:-
* hair tests should be used as part of the complete evidential picture
* greater use of the Experts' Practice Direction when hair tests are commissioned or at least when interpretative analysis is sought
* the tests are reliable to show excessive alcohol use ie above 60gm alcohol per day or just under a bottle of wine / 2-3 pints lager
* the test results cannot yet discriminate between people who are abstinent and those who are social drinkers
* if reliance is sought to be placed on any result other than consistent with excessive use / inconsistent with excessive use experts must be able to justify this
* test results purporting to show alcohol use month by month are not approved by the Society of Hair Testing
* testing for both FAEE & Etg is more reliable than testing for one batch of markers only.
If you’re going to complain about the family justice system, get your facts right - It’s a seemingly innocuous sub-section of the Children Act, and one that you could easily overlook. I am referring to section 2(4) which states: “The rule ...
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