Can A Diabetes Mimic Alcohol Intoxication?

Can A Diabetes Mimic Alcohol Intoxication?

By F. Clay Merris, Esq.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia can appear very similar to actions usually associated with alcohol intoxication. Those of us who know diabetics personally have observed the disorientation, confusion, lack of balance, erratic, and sometimes bizarre, behavior that diabetics sometimes exhibit when their sugar levels are not properly regulated. Interestingly, a person with diabetes in a state of hypoglycemia may even emit an odor of alcohol.

A diabetic with extreme hypoglycemia can also develop ketoacidosis which causes acetone to be present in the mouth. This acetone can be mistaken by a police breath testing machine to be alcohol. So, in addition to the odor and the erratic behavior, a police officer may even obtain a reading with their breath testing device indicating alcohol impairment. After the arrest, police will take the accused drunk driver for a blood test. This blood test will reveal the person was not, in fact, consuming alcohol. While this is certainly better than being charged with an alleged crime, it is still at the very least a major inconvenience to be arrested and taken to provide a blood sample to prove one’s innocence.

Taking great care to ensure appropriate sugar levels is obviously medically prudent. It is also wise to be especially careful regarding one’s sugar levels when operating an automobile. Aside from the obvious danger of having an accident, driving at less than optimal condition can lead to suspicion of drug or alcohol use and lead to a sorely unwanted Driving Under the Influence investigation. If you have diabetes and are suspected of DUI, contact Scaringi Law to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

For defense in cases  involving  DUI call 717 775 7195 to have a Scaringi Law Attorney defend you.

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