Hypoglycemia, Diabetes, And Blood Alcohol Tests
It has been found that diabetes and hypoglycemia can be related to accidents and errors on today's road. Even more common, are unjustified DWI and DUI arrests concerning patterns normally associated with a drunk driver. In a healthy individual, blood glucose (blood sugar) will be from 70 to 120 mg/dl. When blood glucose rises above 120 mg/dl and there is no insulin present, diabetes occurs. Insulin is a hormone controlled by your pancreas that is required to digest and keep a blood sugar balance. If blood glucose decreases to 60 mg/dl or lower, hypoglycemia will occur. Four different forms of diabetes exist, each with its own treatment. The first, Type 1, is typically diagnosed in children with juvenile onset diabetes. Although less common, it is possible for adults to be diagnosed (refer to www.diabetes.org). With Type 1, insulin must be injected into the body because the pancreas fails to produce any insulin at all; leaving it to be the most dangerous of the four types. With Type 2 diabetes, the body can create insulin, but not enough. The body is also resistant to the insulin and does not make use of it in the right way. For Type 2, the treatments include a new diet, exercise, and, on occasion, insulin tablets. Gestational Diabetes and Pre-diabetes are the last of the four types. Gestational Diabetes is most commonly temporary, and is diagnosed during pregnancy. Pre-diabetes occurs when the blood sugar is higher than usual, but still not at the level of Type 2 diabetes. The reason this is all very pertinent is because the symptoms caused by diabetes or hypoglycemia can all too easily be confused with an intoxicated individual. And, while these symptoms are typically seen in a diabetic or hypoglycemic, they can also be seen in a non-diabetic individual. If a person is Continue reading >>
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Colorado Failed Breath Test For Diabetes Defense Lawyer - Schwaner Law
Categories: Colorado Springs DUI Attorney Defense Attorneys Fighting for Colorado Drivers who Failed a Breath Test due to Diabetes Diabetes and hypoglycemia have been found to cause significant motor vehicle accidents and errors today. However, one area that was only recently discovered what that it could result in unjustified DWAI and DUI arrests. When a diabetic person suffers from a diabetic attack, their actions mimic that of an intoxicated motorist. However, whether that diabetic attack mimics alcohol regarding a breathalyzer is not always as clear. A healthy person has a blood glucose from 70 to 120 mg/dl. When that amount rises above the 120 threshold and the body does not produce enough insulin, diabetes attacks the body. Insulin is a critical hormone secreted by the pancreas. It is what helps the body digest and keeps blood sugar levels balanced. Equally, a person with hypoglycemia has blood sugar levels that decrease dramatically to 60 mg/dl or less. Breath tests cannot discern between the various types of alcohol on the breath. Therefore, they can provide a false positive when any form of alcohol is present. Some instances have been reported where a person has not drunk alcohol, but fails because of higher levels of acetone on their breath. A person who has diabetes could have higher acetone levels on their breath. However, it is important that a person being tested for a DUI inform the officer about their diabetes status. In this case, you should request that your blood is tested as well, which would then indicate that you have diabetes and not a DUI. Scientific Research and the False Positives for Diabetic Drivers In the 2003 issue of the Medical and Toxicological Information Review, it was found that abnormally low levels of blood glucose were found relat Continue reading >>
Can Ketones Fool A Dui Breath Test Even If I Don't Have Diabetes?
If you have diabetes, you may find yourself unfairly charged with California DUI as a result of either hypoglycemia or ketosis--or both. Diabetics often experience hypoglycemia--the condition in which one's blood sugar is too low.1 The symptoms of hypoglycemia can look a lot like those of intoxication--and can lead an officer to suspect you of VC 23152(a) driving under the influence. People with diabetes are also prone to "ketosis," which involves the production of ketones. Ketones are waste substances produced by the liver when the body burns fat stores for energy.2 Some of these ketones are excreted in the breath and can "fool" a DUI breath test. This in turn can lead to charges of VC 23152(b) driving with a BAC of 0.08 or above. So diabetes can be a defense to California DUI charges. Below, our California DUI defense attorneys answer the following frequently asked questions about diabetes and California DUI: Can diabetic hypoglycemia lead to unfair DUI charges? Unfortunately, diabetes and DUI charges are closely connected. One basis for this connection is the phenomenon of "hypoglycemia." People with diabetes--either Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes--experience hypoglycemia when their blood sugar gets too low. This can happen if you: What does hypoglycemia/diabetes have to do with DUI? The answer lies in the list of common symptoms of hypoglycemia, which include: Shakiness; Sweating; Anxiety or nervousness; Clumsiness or jerky movements; Slurred speech; Drowsiness; and You may notice that these symptoms of diabetic hypoglycemia are a lot like the symptoms of having had too much to drink or taken drugs. Thus, it is not uncommon for people with diabetes suffering from hypoglycemia to get pulled over while driving--and for officers to then suspect them of DUI or DUI o Continue reading >>
Dui Or Diabetes?
Was that person arrested for drunk driving truly under the influence of alcohol—or could it be that he was simply a diabetic having a low? The similarity in symptoms caused by alcohol intoxication and low blood glucose levels is striking and commonly leads to easy—but false—conclusions by law enforcement officers. Diabetes is a very common disease in America. Fifteen to 20 percent of all drivers on the road are diabetics. The reactions of a person in the early stages of a low blood glucose attack include dizziness, blurred vision, slurred speech, weakness, loss of coordination and confusion. Coincidentally, these are the symptoms and signs that the patrol officer is looking for in a person who is driving under the influence of alcohol. And the officer’s observations are quickly followed by a failing performance on DUI field sobriety tests. But a Breathalyzer Will Clear a Diabetic, Right? Wrong. Ignoring for the moment the inherent inaccuracy of these breath-alcohol machines, most suffer from a little-known design defect—they do not actually measure the alcohol in the blood. Rather, they use infrared beams of light. The light beams are absorbed by any chemical compound in the breath sample (including ethyl alcohol) that contains the “methyl group” in its molecular structure. The more absorption, the higher the blood-alcohol reading. The machine is programmed to assume that the compound is “probably” alcohol. Unfortunately, thousands of compounds containing the methyl group can register as alcohol. One of these is acetone. And a well-documented byproduct of hyperglycemia is a state called ketoacidosis, which causes the production of acetones in the breath. In other words, the Breathalyzer will read significant levels of alcohol on a diabetic’s breath, Continue reading >>
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Five Ways You Can Get A False Dwi Breathalyzer Result
Breathalyzers are a common way for a police officer to determine whether or not a suspect has a BAC above the legal limit. Officers use the breathalyzer as a tool to to as evidence in a DWI or DUI case. Although breathalyzers are generally pretty reliable, there are several factors which could cause a false positive. Cigarettes – Scientific evidence has proven that smoking cigarettes can cause a false positive because many breathalyzers falsely report acetaldehyde as alcohol. Acetaldehyde is produced during the metabolism of alcohol, but appears in greater concentrations in the lungs of cigarette smokers, which could show a higher BAC than the driver really has. Diabetes and Hyperglycemia – A well documented byproduct of low blood sugar is ketoacidosis which causes the production of acetone which can be falsely read by a breathalyzer test as alcohol. In addition early symptoms of a diabetic attack are similar to those of an impaired person: dizziness, slurred speech, blurred vision, loss of coordination, and confusion. Empty Stomach or Low Carb Diet – If you haven’t eaten in a while, or are on a low carbohydrate diet your glucose level may already be low, and just a little bit of alcohol can stop production of glucose, leading to low blood sugar and the production of acetone, which can be falsely read as alcohol by some breathalyzer tests. Belching or Acid Reflux – If you have burped within the last twenty minutes, or are experiencing acid reflux then the amount of alcohol on your breath will be higher due to alcohol from the stomach making its way to your mouth, which could cause a BAC reading to be higher than it actually is. Mouthwash – If you have had one or two drinks but are under the limit, don’t reach for the mouthwash when you see the red and blue Continue reading >>
Why Did I Get A False Positive On A Breathalyzer Test
0 0 It should come as no surprise that one of the greatest concerns for officers is keeping drivers who are under the influence off the road. Drunk driving is incredibly dangerous for everyone on the road. To this end, officers will pull over anyone who seems to be driving erratically. From there, they will administer a breathalyzer test to ascertain if the suspected driver is intoxicated. While the test is not 100% accurate, officers can still arrest drivers, and charge them with a DUI. Due to the inaccuracy of the test, it is possible to blow a false positive, which could result in legal fees, impounding fees, and other punishments. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to prevent false positive results. Prevent False Positive Breathalyzer Test Results Fresh breath could put you at risk Using mouthwash before leaving the house could increase your odds for a false positive result. Many brands of mouthwash contain moderate to high concentrations of alcohol, and it should come as no surprise that swishing any amount of alcohol in your mouth before taking a breathalyzer test is dangerous. While companies are starting to create mouthwash without alcohol, there is still a possibility of alcohol being on the ingredient list, so look before you buy. It is also worth noting that gum, mints and even cough drops have the potential to offset your results. While it seems like these would freshen your breath and perhaps prevent a poor result from the breathalyzer, it has the opposite effect. Many sugar substitutes can trigger a breathalyzer to read a high alcohol content. The calibration of the machine matters Like many machines that test for the absence or excess of a substance, a breathalyzer must have a basis for its testing. This is known as the machine’s calibration. I Continue reading >>
Causes Of A False Positive On A Breathalyzer Test
Officers are on the lookout for anyone operating a vehicle under the influence, and routinely pull over more drivers than face arrest. Law enforcement officials are trained to look for those who are swerving, driving erratically, or showing signs of intoxication. This helps them gather the reasonable suspicion needed to perform a traffic stop and administer a portable Breathalyzer test. The portable test carried in patrol cars only monitors for the presence of alcohol in your breath, and does not provide a reliable enough reading to be accepted in court. A false positive on the portable Breathalyzer test will still provide officers with enough evidence to charge you with a DUI and arrest you. The officer will take you to the station to process you for drunk driving or release you to a responsible party and still charge you with the offense. Those who are involved in a traffic stop and blow a false positive on the portable Breathalyzer test are often faced with the embarrassment of arrest, court costs, and impound fees among others. Before you hit the roads, you should understand the types of things that trigger a false positive on a Breathalyzer test. If you swish mouthwash before you leave the house, you may be setting yourself up for a false positive. Glance at the ingredients next time you use mouthwash and you will learn that mixture has a pretty high alcohol content. Manufacturers are now creating mouthwash and fluoride rinses without alcohol, but you can never be too careful. When you have a high concentration of alcohol in your mouth before you take the test, you are more likely to blow a false positive. The portable Breathalyzer test measures the amount of alcohol in your breath, which can be skewed if you have mouth alcohol in addition to any alcohol you exhale Continue reading >>
Your Diabetes And Your Breathalyzer Results: Creating Reasonable Doubt In A Dui!request A Free Consultation
The use of Breathalyzers in DUI prosecutions in Pennsylvania is declining but the device is still used by a number of law enforcement departments including the City of Philadelphia. A blood draw is a far superior method to determine a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). While blood tests provide stronger results a Breathalyzer is more convenient. Further, police can give a Breathalyzer test at the police station or practically anywhere because the device is portable. While they can do a blood test anywhere it requires much more preparation. Blood alcohol analysis is based on a scientific principal known as “Henry’s Law”. Henry’s Law states that when a liquid containing a volatile substance, like alcohol, makes contact with air in a closed container (Breathalyzer) the amount of alcohol in the air and the liquid are static (consistent or unchanged). Breath testing devices measure the amount of alcohol found in a person’s breath and multiplies it by a pre-determined co-efficient to arrive at a person’s estimated BAC. Breath testing, therefore, relies on scientific assumptions and constants. Since a breathalyzer measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s body through their breath it is important to determine if any other medical conditions could negatively effect breath testing. In addition, it’s important to determine if a medical condition could cause a person to appear intoxicated when, in fact, he was just suffering from the effects of the illness. Diabetes is one medical condition which can be a potential defense to a DUI case. Diabetes is a disease which causes the body not to produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas which converts food into energy. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 Continue reading >>
How Diabetes Can Affect A Breath Test
Diabetes is a highly prevalent condition among Americans. A diabetic who begins experiencing low blood glucose levels while driving runs the risk of being stopped and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. The most common symptoms of low blood sugar include diminished coordination, distorted vision and confusion, all of which can create the impression of drunkenness. These symptoms make it difficult to pass the typical field sobriety test as well, leading to the administration of a breathalyzer. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, can also cause symptoms such as drowsiness and dizziness. It can also lead to false positives on the breathalyzer test. How breathalyzers work A breathalyzer works by using infrared light beams on the breath sample. If the sample contains a chemical compound that incorporates the methyl group in its structure, the chemical compound will absorb the infrared light. The level of absorption corresponds to the resulting blood alcohol level reading. The principle is that blood alcohol passes into the air in the lungs, which is then expelled through the breath. Diabetic complications However, alcohol consumption is not the only factor that can create an elevated level of methyl-containing compounds in a breath sample. Acetone is one common compound that contains the methyl group. Hyperglycemia, a condition of diabetes, includes among its side effects the process of ketoacidosis. This process responds to the hyperglycemic body's inability to use carbohydrates for energy by burning ketones, creating a high concentration of acetone in the breath. As a result, a breathalyzer test will produce a reading indicating illegally high blood alcohol levels, even if the driver did not consume any alcohol. Protecting yourself In Pennsylvania, refusing Continue reading >>
False Breathalyzer Results From Acetone In Breath: Breathalyzers Often Give Inflated Readings
False breathalyzer results are caused by any of a number of things. (‘Breathalyzer’ has become generic for any alcohol breath testing device. But it’s actually a brand name. Others are Alcoscan, Alcosensor, BAC Datamaster, and Intoxilyzer.) Acetone Acetone in the breath is one cause of false blood alcohol concentration (BAC) results from breathalyzers. Readings from such machines are actually only indirect estimates of BAC. In reality, only a sample of blood itself can yield a true measure of BAC. It is clear from scientific research that acetone exists in the breath of average people. And it can be high enough to cause false readings. Thus, it can cause conviction of innocent drivers. Hypoglycemia is a significant cause of acetone in the breath. And diabetics can have levels of acetone in the breath high enough to get false readings of .06. Symptoms Hypoglycemia also causes symptoms similar to those of intoxication. They include shakiness, dizziness, clumsiness, jerky movements, difficulty paying attention, and confusion. The U.S. federal government (CDC) reports that 23.6 million people in the country have diabetes. About 5.7 million of these don’t know they have the disease. Other things can also cause hypoglycemia. Conditions such as cardiac, kidney and liver diseases. Aspirin in large doses, sulfa medications and pseudo ephedrine. Overexertion, fright or anxiety. Diet soda. Either fasting or dieting can also cause much higher levels of acetone. Research has shown that fasting can increase the acetone level high enough to give a false reading (estimate) of .06 BAC. A low-carbohydrate diet can increase acetone levels. The body produces more acetone as it tries to compensate for the reduced glucose in the diet. Those who follow the Atkins and similar diets int Continue reading >>
Is It True That Breathalyzer Results For Diabetics And People On Specific Types Of Diets Could Read Higher Than Actual Bac Estimates, And If So, Why?
Breathalyzer results for diabetics could read higher than actual BAC estimates because, according to the NHTSA (National Highway and Traffic Safety Association), these individuals can have high levels of acetone in their breath. The same goes for individuals on extreme diets including fasting and low carb diets. Acetone is a substance that is falsely identified as ethanol (also called ethyl alcohol) by some breath alcohol testers—some semiconductor sensor-based breathalyzers will show a false positive result for these cases when the test subject has not consumed alcohol. However, whether or not the presence of acetone will affect a breathalyzer reading depends on the actual breathalyzer used for testing. Breathalyzers with fuel cell sensor technology, such as the BACtrack Mobile, BACtrack S80 Pro, BACtrack S75 Pro, and the BACtrack Element are all non-responsive to acetone, and therefore won’t show a false positive for someone who is diabetic, or on a high protein/carbohydrate-restricted diet. Continue reading >>
False Dui Breath Test Because Of Diabetes
This is a Guest Post provided by the law firm, Price Benowitz, LLP. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar can cause numerous side effects. Some of these include slurred speech, wobbling when walking, poor motor skills and increased acetone levels in the blood. For diabetics, a sudden drop in blood sugar can result in failed DUI blood and breath tests. Questioning accuracy of breath tests There have been suits where defendants in DUI cases have proven that breath tests are not always accurate. Because a breath test cannot discern between the types of alcohol on the breath, they can give a false positive reading. Some instances have been reported where someone who has not had anything to drink fails a test due to high acetone levels. Diabetics, people who have been working in areas where spray paint is being used, and someone who has recently eaten bread may have higher levels of acetone as well. When you fail a field breath test If you have failed a field breath test, it is important to notify the arresting officer that you are diabetic. In most cases, it is a good idea to ask for a blood test as well. However, it is important to note that a blood test may still show increased BAC levels if you are diabetic. What you need to know about breath tests There are some important things to remember about breath tests if you are stopped for a suspected DUI. Check your state laws – In some states, you are required to submit to a breath test. Check with your Department of Motor Vehicles for the laws in your state. Other states allow you to refuse the breath test and opt for urinalysis or blood tests. Breath tests do not measure BAC – BAC or blood alcohol counts cannot be determined by a breath test. These levels may only be obtained by blood tests. False readings are possible – F Continue reading >>
Diabetes Can Give An Inaccurate Bac Reading
When a diabetic experiences hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar levels, the symptoms are very similar to intoxication. Police officers have been known to mistakenly assume a driver is intoxicated, when in fact they have hypoglycemia. For example, a diabetic experiencing hypoglycemia may have a slow and slurred speech, poor balance, impaired motor abilities and may appear drowsy, flushed and disoriented. Hypoglycemia can even cause the diabetic to stagger, which may be mistaken for intoxication by a police officer. These symptoms are very similar to intoxication and as you may imagine, a person experiencing them will most likely fail the field sobriety tests. Breath tests can even give inaccurate results when someone is a diabetic. Breath testing equipment is designed to measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC), which is the amount of alcohol present in a person’s bloodstream. A ratio is used to convert the alcohol in the breath to alcohol in the body. The testing device uses infrared beams of light that are absorbed by chemical compounds in the breath. Ethyl alcohol is what is found in alcoholic beverages and is what the breath testing equipment is looking for. However, a diabetic with hypoglycemia may develop ketoacidosis, which can cause acetone in the mouth and can be smelled on the breath. A diabetic who has developed ketoacidosis will give a high BAC reading because the breath testing device mistakes the acetone for ethyl alcohol. When a person with diabetes consumes alcohol, it can quickly lead to hypoglycemia. The risk of alcohol causing low glucose is most common for diabetics taking insulin or other antidiabetic agents, as these medications are designed to reduce glucose levels. Since a diabetic has the potential to perform poorly on field sobriety t Continue reading >>
I'm A Diabetic. Will That Affect My Ignition Interlock Test?
If you have diabetes, you might be concerned about rumors that your condition can cause a false positive with an ignition interlock, resulting in a failed test and a possible lockout from your vehicle. If you believe this, youve fallen victim to one of the constant plagues of the Internet: the Outdated Information That Will Not Die. Like zombies, some ignition interlock myths just wont die. The concern stems from acetone, a chemical produced in the body during ketosis, the process by which ones body gets energy from burning fat. Diabetics and people on low-carbohydrate diets experience ketosis and thus produce acetone in their bodies. The first ignition interlocks, produced in the 1980s, employed semiconductors to detect alcohol, and these devices were also sensitive to acetone. Thus, diabetics would sometimes get a false reading. However, modern ignition interlock devices employ fuel cells, and not semiconductors, to detect alcohol. These advanced devices are able to distinguish between acetone and alcohol, and will not cause a false positive. In the old days before fuel-cell technology, acetone was known as an interferent a substance that would interfere with the alcohol-sensing reaction of the ignition interlock. Cigarette smoke was also considered an interferent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does exhaustive tests on interlock devices, and the organization has determined that neither acetone from ones body or cigarette smoke will skew tests (though its a good idea to wait a minute after taking a drag on a cigarette as smoke will shorten the life of the interlocks sensor). So, if the concern about diabetes and ignition interlocks comes up, consider yourself a mythbuster. Put the Outdated Information That Will Not Die to rest at all time. Continue reading >>
Sugar Alcohol: Is It A Breathalyzer False Positive?
Sugar Alcohol: is it a breathalyzer false positive? Sugar Alcohol: is it a breathalyzer false positive? As Orange County DUI Attorneys, we are often asked about what can be a false positive for breathalyzer testing. Is It’s not surprising that any mouth alcohol–that is, ethanol or any of its chemical cousins — can be detected. For that reason, the breath testing laws require an appropriate waiting period prior to the breath sample. The main issue can be referred to as the various instruments’ capabilities for specificity. That is, can it measure the specific kind of alcohol–ethanol for the purposes of testing in a DUI case –to the exclusion of any false positives for ethanol? Sorbitol and false positives Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol with a sweet taste which the human body metabolizes slowly. It is used in mints, gums, toothpaste, and many sugar-free products. Sugar alcohol is generally part of the chemical composition of sorbitol and xylitol, which is both one of many forms of alcohol derived from fruit. Those substances are used as a sugar replacement due to its sweet characteristic in gum, food and other general consumer products. It is slowly metabolized by the body, so DUI false positive effects for diabetics and glucose (or insulin) are minimal to none. The problem is that all of the following are alcohol, only in different forms: Ethyl alcohol; Isopropyl alcohol; Methanol; Ethanol alcohol; Glycol alcohol; Sorbitol (sugar alcohol); and Xylitol. Each will test positive for alcohol as measured by a testing device. Breathalyzers, or any breath testing machines, that use Fuel Cell technology are well documented not to be specifically able to measure only ethyl alcohol in readings. And as our Orange County DUI Lawyer Robert Miller can tell you, ethyl alcohol Continue reading >>