The number of people across the country and here in Florida who suffer from diabetes seems to grow daily. This condition has become a significant health crisis, and it affects sufferers’ lives in many ways.
One way that they and their doctors may not anticipate the condition affecting their lives is during a DUI traffic stop. It is possible for a sober person with diabetes to blow readings as high as .06 when taking a roadside breath test. This may not be Florida’s legal limit of .08, but if this is you, the officer may still place you under arrest on suspicion of DUI.
Diabetes can cause high levels of acetone in your breath
Everyone has some level of acetone on their breath, but when you are a diabetic, the levels may rise to the point where a preliminary breath test picks it up and mistakes it for alcohol. You may already be aware that if your blood sugar drops too low, you could experience the following symptoms:
- Jerky movements
- Difficulty paying attention
Do these symptoms sound familiar to you? They cause the same types of behaviors in intoxicated individuals.
Diabetes isn’t the only cause of high acetone levels
Diabetes isn’t the only condition or disease that can raise the acetone levels in your body. Others conditions that could cause hypoglycemia include the following:
- Diet Soda
- Large doses of pseudo ephedrine, aspirin or sulfa drugs
- Liver, cardiac or kidney conditions
Low carbohydrate diets such as the Atkins diet or the Keto diet may also increase the level of acetone in your body. When you severely limit or eliminate glucose, your body produces ketones, which create isopropyl alcohol. Roadside breath testing machines may produce false positives under these circumstances as well. This may serve as just one reason why courts often exclude the results of roadside breath tests.
If you had not been drinking but end up arrested on suspicion of DUI, your diabetes or another condition may be to blame. A blood test may clear you of any charges, but in the meantime, your reputation, your job and possibly your driver’s license may be in jeopardy. It may be worth your while to gain an understanding of your rights and legal options as quickly as possible so that you may get your life back on track.