Beer Study Helps Dismiss Hip Flask Defence

December 15th 2014

To his mates he’s the Beer Doctor. Twenty-nine year old Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine toxicologist Luke Rodda has just received his PhD from Monash University, for his study in beer!

 

His findings indicate that almost 60% of Victorian deaths with alcohol on board show the consumption of beer. We have a seemingly unquenchable thirst for the amber liquid.

 

Dr Rodda’s study of beer was inspired by his quest to analyse the ‘hip flask defence’ a loop hole that can allow inebriated drivers to get away with being over .05. This is particularly prevalent in Europe.

 

The ‘hip flask defence’ applies when a driver is involved in a motor vehicle accident and then flees the scene. When the police apprehend them and they have an alcohol reading which is above the legal limit, the culprit claims they had a quick swig of scotch or a similar beverage to calm their nerves. They claim they weren’t drunk at the time of the accident.

Luke Rodda

Dr Rodda took his beer research to Buenos Aires last month where he attended The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT) conference and received the prestigious award for ‘Best Published Paper’ from the TIAFT Young Scientists Committee for his paper titled “The Rapid Identification and Quantification of Iso-α-acids and Reduced Iso-α-acids in Blood using UHPLC-MS/MS: Validation of a Novel Marker for Beer Consumption”.

 

Dr Rodda’s study sheds light on the drinking behaviours of the individual. It also unexpectedly found that his technique can not only prove a person has consumed beer, but also what type of beer they were drinking. Beer in clear glass bottles is artificially hopped and beer in brown glass bottles is hopped naturally.

 

The results were achieved over a three year study which included five separate drinking studies of different kinds of beer involving five volunteers – under strict medical supervision – and their blood and urine measured using his developed technique. The results were fascinating and also indicated that beer consumption can be confirmed in the blood stream for at least six hours after a person reaches a level of .05.

 

Dr Rodda took his beer research to Buenos Aires last month where he attended The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT) conference and received the prestigious award for ‘Best Published Paper’ from the TIAFT Young Scientists Committee for his paper titled “The Rapid Identification and Quantification of Iso-α-acids and Reduced Iso-α-acids in Blood using UHPLC-MS/MS: Validation of a Novel Marker for Beer Consumption”.

 

In 2013, Dr Rodda was awarded ‘Best Paper Early Career Researcher’ from Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. He was also awarded a full PhD Student Scholarship from Forensic and Clinical Toxicology Association (FACTA Inc). Last year Dr Rodda also presented his research on a world stage at the 51st Annual TIAFT Meeting in Madeira, Portugal.

 

Further information: Deb Withers 0417 398 448 or deb@debwithers.com

Media Release, December 12, 2014

Download this VIFM Media Release – Beer study helps dismiss hip flask defence