Nurses’s moist wipe helps drunken driver escape conviction

A 36-year-old Swedish man who confessed to driving while drunk has been acquitted because of uncertainty caused by the way a nurse took a blood sample.

According to the Umeå District Court, the results of the man’s blood test may have been tainted because the nurse used an alcohol-soaked wipe to disinfect the man’s arm prior to taking his blood.

The disinfectant wipe makes the test results unreliable, according to the court.

The ruling has prompted withering critique from toxicology experts.

“The judgment is unbelievable. Not least when you consider the man’s high blood alcohol levels,” Fredrik Kugelberg, a toxicologist with a forensic medical lab in Linköping in central Sweden, told the TT news agency.

He hopes the ruling is appealed.

Laboratory trials show that disinfecting an area with alcohol has no noticeable effect on the results of blood tests, reports the Västerbottens-Kuriren newspaper.

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