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Diabetes and DUI – What You Need To Know

DUI Lawyer Los Angeles, Jon Artz Blog - Diabetes and DUI blog post Police officers are humans; as such, they can make mistakes. When they suspect a person of driving under the influence, for instance, they may have preemptively decided which factors will determine a person’s guilt or innocence. This inherent need to separate right from wrong can cloud a person’s ability to judge the situation based on other factors outside of the immediate situation.

Unfortunately, this human element also means that officers often see what they expect to see, and they may disregard alternative explanations for drivers’ behaviors, such as diabetes.

Hypoglycemia is a situation that’s all-too-real for diabetics. Hypoglycemia occurs when a person’s blood sugar levels become abnormally low. As a result, people with diabetes may experience the following symptoms:

  • Slow response
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor balance
  • Impaired motor control
  • Staggering
  • Disorientation
  • Flushed face
  • Drowsiness

Do Breathalyzers Clear the Air?

Many people would be surprised to learn that preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) devices, hand held breathalyzers, do not measure actual alcohol. Rather, they measure chemical compounds contained in the methyl group molecular structure by way of infrared beams that absorb any chemical compound in the breath.

For diabetics, breathalyzers can bring big problems. These devices often register acetone – which is a member of the methyl group – as alcohol. In fact, acetone is a byproduct of hypoglycemia, which is usually emitted through the breath. As a result, a breathalyzer could read a diabetic as intoxicated, even if he or she has had nothing to drink.

About one in every seven drivers on the road suffers from diabetes. This means that, at any given time, there are any number of people who could experience hypoglycemia and be pulled over for suspicion of a DUI.

Safe-Driving Tips for Diabetics

You should never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking and are possibly impaired, whether you have diabetes or not. Beyond this, there are a few things you can do, as a diabetic, to facilitate a safer journey when you drive:

  • Don’t take too much insulin. For your health alone, it’s essential that you monitor your insulin levels and never take too much.
  • Eat right. Don’t skip a meal, especially if you’ll be driving in the near future. This can be a sure cause of a drop in glucose levels, which could lead to hypoglycemia.
  • Don’t overexert yourself immediately before driving. If you just had a hard workout, be sure to take some time to rest so your body can come back to its natural state before you hit the road.

Diabetics charged with DUIs can face serious consequences, even if they were completely sober at the time they were pulled over. If you’re a diabetic who has been arrested for a DUI, it’s best to seek the assistance of an attorney who specialized in DUI defense. Experienced lawyers understand how diabetes can affect field sobriety tests, and they’ll use this knowledge to their advantage.

Contact Jon Artz today if you need to speak with an experienced Los Angeles DUI Lawyer. The fastest way is by calling: 310-820-1315.

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Diabetes and DUI - What You Need To Know
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Diabetes and DUI - What You Need To Know
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Officers often see what they expect to see, and may disregard alternative explanations for drivers' behaviors, such as diabetes. Hypoglycemia is a situation that’s all-too-real for diabetics. It occurs when...
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