Whether you are diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, symptoms of diabetic complications can be mistaken by police as signs of intoxication. It’s an unfortunate and unlikely scenario, but it’s not impossible—and it has happened before.
Dealing with the expected complications that can come with diabetes is difficult enough, but no one expects to end up with DUI charges because of this disease. In this blog, we’ll examine what diabetes is and how its symptoms can be mistaken by law enforcement as DUI.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a medical condition that affects how the body processes blood sugar. There are two main types of diabetes, and both can present symptoms that may be misinterpreted as signs of intoxication.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce its own insulin, so the patient must inject it and follow a special diet to control their blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes is the more common of the two, and it often appears later in life. This disease is caused partially by one’s lifestyle and genetic risk factors. A Type 2 diabetic typically produces their own insulin, but the body becomes unresponsive to it. They must also follow a special diet and may also need insulin as the disease progresses.
How Type I & Type II Diabetes Can Result in a DUI
When a diabetic patient’s blood sugar is uncontrolled, the patient can become hypoglycemic (blood sugar is too low) or hyperglycemic (blood sugar is too high). These conditions can quickly become medical emergencies that potentially put the patient’s life in danger.
These extremes in blood sugar levels can result in symptoms that include the following:
- Slurred speech
These symptoms are also commonly observed in people who are intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. This means that your Type I or Type II diabetes symptoms can be misinterpreted by police as DUI evidence.
Potentially making matters worse, some Type II diabetes who eat a ketogenic diet can expel acetone particles on their breath. Acetone is a type of alcohol that a breathalyzer may not be able to distinguish from ethanol, which is the type of alcohol in a beverage.
What Should I Do If I’m Diabetic & Arrested for DUI?
If your diabetic symptoms are severe enough that you’re pulled over for a DUI, it’s essential that you get immediate medical assistance. Inform the investigating police officer of your condition and your concerns for your immediate health.
If you are arrested despite this, demand a blood test to determine your blood glucose levels and blood-alcohol levels. Don’t submit to a breathalyzer test, especially if you’re a Type II diabetic. As previously mentioned, breathalyzers may register a false positive if you’re on the ketogenic diet.
Don’t answer any other questions, especially those that can be used to convict you of DUI. It’s your right not to do so, and you should have an attorney present during any questioning. You also have a right to an attorney, so request one as well.
Contact Us When You Need Help
Many people facing DUI charges never expected this to be a chapter in their lives. Even so, it can happen to the best of us. These matters can become all the more difficult to cope with when you weren’t intoxicated behind the wheel but must defend against DUI charges due to a misunderstanding.
This is a difficult time, and you need an advocate in your corner who can fight hard for you. That’s the kind of legal representation you can expect from the Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A. We can provide the legal support you require to defend against unfair DUI charges and seek the best possible outcome.
Contact us online today to request a consultation with our experienced DUI attorney.