Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hematocrit Defense in DUI Cases

 Hematocrit represents the fraction of whole blood composed of red blood cells and is correlated with the aqueous content of the blood.  The higher the hematocrit, the lower the concentration of water in the blood and vice versa, according to California DUI Attorney Matthew Ruff.  How does this issue play into a DUI case you may ask?  Put simply, the higher a hematocrit level, the higher a person's blood alcohol concentration.  With breath tests, the normal variation in the hematocrits of test subjects "can produce errors in ...results in the 10-14% range", according to some scientific studies.  When facing a DUI charge, it may be useful to have a test done to determine if this may be an issue. The hematocrit issue can vary the amount of alcohol present in the blood and not all humans are the same.  The breath machines do not factor in this variability.