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Diabetes can be mistaken for drunk driving

Many people in South Carolina have diabetes. In fact, it's been estimated that as many as 20 percent of the drives on the road at any given time are suffering from this disease. This is important because someone who has not had one's medication in too long could be hit with many symptoms as his or her blood sugar levels drop, and these symptoms are often the same ones exhibited by drunk drivers.

Examples of common symptoms include the following:

-- General confusion -- A reduction in coordination -- Overall weakness and fatigue -- Slurred speech -- Dizziness -- Blurred vision

When blood sugar levels drop, these things can make it very hard to drive safely. If a person is pulled over and given standard sobriety testsâ€"such as being told to walk in a straight line or balance on one footâ€"he or she may not be able to do it, despite not being intoxicated, and that person could then be arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

In some cases, a breath test may be able to show officers that the person is not actually drunk. However, these machines can be inaccurate at times, they can be calibrated improperly, and they can also give false positives due to substances like acetone. There's a chance a diabetic could fail both the field sobriety tests and the breath test, even without drinking.

If you've been accused of drunk driving and you were actually just suffering from a drop in blood sugar due to diabetes, you must know about all of your legal options as you fight the charges.

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