The Hypoglycemic DUI


Hypoglycemia is a medical condition that occurs when a person’s blood sugar, otherwise known as glucose, is too low. This condition is often associated with diabetes, but may afflict people who are not diabetic. Point being, that many people suffer for hypoglycemia. Those afflicted often display double vision, blurry vision, nervousness, poor balance, disorientation, tiredness, and weakness, amongst others. Do these symptoms sound familiar? They should. They’re often the symptoms law enforcement cite to support a finding of probable cause for a DUI suspect.

The officer now has the hypoglycemic get out of the vehicle to conduct field sobriety tests. How well is the hypoglycemic going to do on the walk-and-turn test and the one-leg stand test? He or she is probably not going to perform all that well since they’re suffering from blurry vision, poor balance, and weakness.

So now the officer asks if they would submit to a breathalyzer. And why wouldn’t they? They’ve had nothing alcoholic to drink. Unbeknownst to both the officer and the hypoglycemic is that alcohol is produced in the hypoglycemic’s breath due to the hypoglycemia. Ketones are produced in the body when blood sugar is low. Ketones that cannot be used in the body turn to isopropyl alcohol that is excreted by breath and urine. Unfortunately, the breathalyzer is unable to distinguish between the isopropyl alcohol and the ethanol alcohol found in your favorite cocktail. The breathalyzer has just given a erroneously high blood alcohol content reading.

Voila, you have the hypoglycemic DUI without a drop of alcohol.

This entry was posted in California State Law, Driver's Licenses, DUI Arrests and Procedures, DUI Laws and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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