DUI

Diabetes and DUI: Legal Defenses for Diabetics charged with DUI

Diabetes and DUI are complicated legal and medical issues. If you have diabetes and are arrested for DUI, you may have a defense.  Especially if you took a breath test and blew over the legal limit. Contact our experienced Trinity DUI defense attorneys to discuss your defenses.

Most people think breath tests are accurate.  Breath tests are not always accurate, especially if you have certain medical conditions. Diabetes can significantly affect the accuracy of the breath test results.

Two diabetic syndromes can affect the breath test results.

  • DUIHyperglycemia (When a diabetic’s blood sugar drops too low, they can enter a state called hypoglycemia.) The condition can be caused by any number of factors, including skipping a meal. Hypoglycemia can cause
    •  slurred speech
    • stumbling
    • lack of focus
    • can easily be confused with drunkenness
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis Can cause a false positive on the DUI breath test. It causes the body to produce acetone, a type of alcohol.  The breath test – a machine – can’t tell the difference between acetone produced by a diabetic reaction and several martinis at happy hour.  This compound can be read by the breath testing machine to indicate a high BAC (blood alcohol content), when in fact your BAC may be very low.

What’s worse, if a diabetic has low blood sugar and is suffering from hypoglycemia (or even hyperglycemia), they may not be able to perform well on the physical tests which officers make you do at the side of the road. This combination of factors can give the complete appearance of intoxication. when in fact you are not impaired.

Police don’t receive training to recognize the difference between a drunk person and one suffering from a diabetic reaction.  The breath test is a machine which can’t account for medical conditions. Diabetes and DUI are complicated issues.  Legally and medically.

Although it is critical that diabetics track and maintain proper blood sugar levels, it is sometimes impossible. Hypoglycemia and Diabetic Ketoacidosis can appear quickly and without warning. If you are a diabetic accused of a DUI, it is crucial to contact our experienced Pasco County DUI attorneys today. Our office can work with medical professionals to fight your charges. Call us today.

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