When a person is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, it is believed that the arresting officered made an accurate decision based on field sobriety tests. But did you know that some health concerns, such as diabetes, could lead to a false conclusion by a police officer?
In the United States alone, approximately 15 to 20 percent of all drivers are diabetics. Taking this one step further, the impact of low blood glucose can include blurred vision, dizziness, weakness, slurred speech and confusion. All of these symptoms can also be confused with a high blood alcohol level.
What about the breathalyzer test? Most diabetics believe that this will clear them of the belief that they have been drinking and driving. Unfortunately, this is not true. The reason is simple: These machines are used to detect compounds containing the methyl group.
Acetone belongs to this group. It is also known as being a byproduct of ketoacidosis, in which high levels of acetones are present in the breath. This means that the breathalyzer could show a high level of alcohol on the person’s breath, even though they had nothing or little to drink.
Diabetic people have serious medical concerns that can be difficult to control. The last thing they need is to be arrested for driving under the influence when nothing could be further from the truth.
When a diabetic individual is falsely charged with driving under the influence, it is important that he or she understands why this happened and how to fight back against the arrest.
Source: Diabetes Health, “DUI or Diabetes?,” Lawrence Taylor, accessed April 18, 2016