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Will diabetes lead to a DWI charge?

If you have diabetes, it’s important to understand how it impacts your body. There are chemical changes that may occur in your breath. If the body is in ketosis, then a Breathalyzer test may come back with a false positive.

When you’re driving with diabetes, you need to be sure that your blood sugar level is controlled. Diabetes can affect your ability to drive. Some issues it can cause include:

  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Blurry vision
  • Seizures
  • A loss of consciousness

These issues may happen when your blood sugar is either too high or too low. Still, as long as you blood sugar levels are controlled, you should not have a problem with driving safely.

How does ketosis affect your blood alcohol concentration?

It’s not necessarily that ketosis affects the blood alcohol concentration in the body, but it does release ketones. Ketones closely resemble and mimic isopropyl alcohol, so someone who is going into ketoacidosis, for example, may have breath that smells fruity or like acetone.

As ketones build up in the body, some common symptoms that arise include:

  • Poor coordination
  • Flushed appearance
  • Shakiness
  • Aggression
  • Sluggishness
  • Confusion

These symptoms are a sign of the life-threatening condition that is developing due to a high blood sugar, in most cases. Unfortunately, these also mimic intoxication, and it’s possible to take a Breathalyzer test and test high despite not drinking any alcohol at all. Combined with the unusual behaviors, someone in ketoacidosis may end up going to jail rather than the hospital where they need to be seen urgently.

What should you do if you’re accused of a DWI due to diabetes?

If you are accused of committing a DWI but were actually dealing with a diabetic emergency or episode at the time of the arrest, you can defend yourself. A medical emergency should be taken seriously by the police, and a court is more likely to understand this and to change or drop the charges with the right documentation. Your attorney will help you by going over the case to determine the best way to defend you against a DWI and to prove that your medical issue led to a false positive BAC test.

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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