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What does diabetes have to do with drunk driving charges?

On Behalf of | May 15, 2017 | blog |

Countless Tennessee residents currently face many serious health challenges. From chronic fatigue to cancer or other long-term adverse conditions, it’s likely that you or someone you know has or is battling some type of ailment. Many health problems gain the upper hand because they remain undiagnosed for so long. Have you ever felt “not right” but were unable to put your finger on the exact cause of your malaise, pain or overall weakened condition? Perhaps you had to make several trips to various doctors before one provided a correct diagnosis.

Do you know the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates nearly 6 million people throughout the nation walk around with undiagnosed diabetes? Another 18 million or so are aware of their conditions and currently applying treatments to try to manage their diseases. If you have diabetes, (whether you’re aware of it or not) it may affect your life in many negative ways. One of the most surprising ways, however, is that you may be at risk for drunk driving charges.

Symptoms of disease and drunk driving charges

Diabetes is a main cause of hypoglycemia, otherwise known as low blood sugar. There are typically several signs that a person may be suffering from not having enough glucose in his or her bloodstream. Some of the most common symptoms are as follows:

  • Cognitive problems that include lack of ability to focus and pay attention
  • Incoherent thoughts, words or actions
  • Dizziness
  • Hand or other extremity tremors
  • Jerky body motions
  • Sudden clumsiness

Diabetes isn’t the only thing that causes hypoglycemia. People with heart disease or liver malfunction may experience similar issues. Also, certain medications, extreme physical exertion, or anxiety attacks may trigger low glucose symptoms in your body.  It’s important to be aware that such situations can produce consequences in many aspects of your life, most surprising of which may be that if you’re ever pulled over by a police officer who asks you to take a breath test, the results may register false positive for alcohol due to your condition!

Acetone registers as alcohol on the breath

Diabetics and others with hypoglycemia often have increased levels of acetone on their breath. Anyone who puffs air into a Breathalyzer device may register as high as .06 percent for alcohol due to acetone. While it seems as though it should be easy enough to explain such situations to appropriate authorities, taking into account that you might not even know you have diabetes, or do but are unaware of acetone’s ability to cause false positive breath test results, it may prove quite challenging to rectify your particular situation.

Prosecutors often rely on Breathalyzer results to secure drunk driving convictions. Therefore, you may want to seek immediate defense assistance if you think the results of your breath test are tainted.