Blood Test For Drinking And Driving
Types of Tests: Blood tests taken at a hospital or police station are the most accurate chemical sobriety evaluations used to determine the blood alcohol level of a subject. They are also, unfortunately, the least convenient and most expensive. Blood tests may be requested onsite by an officer who feels the breathalyzer test inaccurately measured a subject’s BAC. Considered an intrusive method, a blood alcohol test can quickly determine the amount of alcohol in the blood at the time the sample is taken. Since the body continues to break down alcohol at a steady rate after drinking, the time that passes between drinking and collecting the blood sample will affect the results. Therefore, it is important to have the test conducted as quickly as possible from the time of the driving incident. Blood alcohol tests are very accurate in determining BAC levels, but in some cases, the results may be misleading. These cases may involve: People with diabetes or high blood ketones. People taking cough medicines or herbal supplements. However, the most susceptible variable in blood testing for alcohol levels is determined by the actual methodology of the blood drawing. First and perhaps most obvious, the sample is at risk of alteration by an alcohol swab before the needle is inserted. As the needle is inserted, the alcohol on the surface of the skin can actually contaminate the sample by increasing the overall amount of alcohol found in the blood. In addition, there are two ways in which blood can be sampled for BAC levels: By testing the whole blood By testing just the blood serum Testing the whole blood is standard procedure for blood alcohol tests. However, some hospitals may only test the serum. Producing a blood alcohol concentration for the blood serum sample alone may produc Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Issues From Diabetes Could Result In A Dui Charge
Blood sugar issues from diabetes could result in a DUI charge On behalf of Drennan Law Firm posted in blog on Saturday, August 5, 2017. Because of the way that field sobriety tests are administered and the rapid results of roadside breath tests, many people tend to assume that those who get accused of driving under the influence (DUI) are guilty. Equipment isn't perfect, and it can't account for certain medical conditions. Unfortunately, the belief that field sobriety tests are infallible is just wrong. An officer can make mistakes when performing a roadside test. A breath test machine may not have been calibrated recently, resulting in inaccurate readings. Even worse, there are cases where serious medical issues can create symptoms that look like alcohol intoxication. In these scenarios, you need a robust defense to push back against the potential issues that come from a DUI conviction. Diabetes can produce alcohol impairment-like symptoms Many people know that they are at risk for diabetes thanks to modern medicine. Others, however, may suddenly experience a blood sugar episode due to diabetes without having a diagnosis. Some of the possible symptoms include slurred speech, issues with depth perception, problems with coordination and balance, and confusion. A driver presenting these symptoms could fail a roadside sobriety test without ever taking a drink. Officers get trained to test for intoxication by checking balance, eye movement, pupil dilation and memory. Any of these responses could end up compromised or diminished as the result of undiagnosed and untreated diabetes. The officer may see your behavior or responses as a clear sign that you are intoxicated , when in reality you are in need of medical help. Diabetes can even cause a false positive on a breath test Continue reading >>
Why Do Police Ask If A Driver Has Diabetes In A Dui?
Why Do Police Ask If a Driver Has Diabetes in a DUI? Why Do Police Ask If a Driver Has Diabetes in a DUI? If you were arrested for DUI and police did not ask whether you have diabetes and you do have the condition does this matter? It certainly does. If your attorney does not ask you about this, it is equally concerning, especially if ones breath measured blood alcohol content (BAC) is below 0.15%. This is because with someone with diabetes, the condition can greatly increase a persons BAC. In an individual with normal metabolism, blood glucose levels are regulated precisely and kept within a relatively narrow range. This range varies by individual and in most cases it is well about 60 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). This is because, by laboratory definition, hypoglycemia is defined as a blood sugar level below 60 mg/dl. Diabetes patients and individuals who have certain kinds of tumors or possess other errors of metabolism, however, are unable to precisely regulate their glucose levels, which can range from extremely high or plunge to dangerous lows. The body, through the process of metabolism, breaks down the natural sugars (carbohydrates) that are eaten and converts them to glucose, which can then be absorbed from the intestines into the blood. At any given time during the day blood glucose reflects a balance of the amount of glucose absorbed from the intestine, the glucose converted and released by the liver into the blood, and that going from the blood directly into the cells of the body. Only glucose can be utilized by the cells of the body and glucose needs insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, to get into the cells. Insulin, manufactured in the pancreas, lowers blood glucose levels by allowing glucose to move into the cells. However, insulin will speed Continue reading >>
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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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 >>
Diabetes And Blood Alcohol Level
Home Glossary Diabetes and Blood Alcohol Level If a diabetic is experiencing hypoglycemia, they can appear drunk and even wrongly fail a breath test for DUI. There may be no group of people with a higher risk of wrongful DUI arrest than diabetics. Depending on the form of diabetes, many diabetics have the potential to go into a state of hypoglycemia, or dangerously low blood sugar. During this state, they can appear drunk and even fail a breath test for DUIeven if they are actually sober. During hypoglycemia, your body may enter a state called ketoacidosis. This is a metabolic state where the body gets energy by breaking down its fat reserves (normally, the body gets energy from blood sugar). This state produces a high level of compounds called ketones in the blood. When you take a breath test, the testing device uses infrared light to scan the chemical composition of your breath. Its looking for ethyl alcohol, but it also picks up ketones by accident. A high ketone level can cause you to get a falsely high BAC result. The same thing can happen to people who eat a low carb, high protein diet. For a diabetic, there are complicating factors: Diabetics experiencing hypoglycemia may seem disoriented, they may stagger, and they may have a hard time speaking. This can be mistaken for drunkenness. If you consumed alcohol, you are at higher risk of hypoglycemia. So even if you drank a very small amount, your breath test result could be very high. Have you been charged with DUI? We can connect you with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer and get you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your free consultation today. 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 >>
Dui Blood Test False Positives And Diabetes
There are a number of circumstances that can result in a DUI blood test false positive: diabetes, cough medicines, and vitamin supplements to name a few. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can result in dizziness, wobbliness, and slurred speech, among other impairments. When driving, a sudden drop in glucose levels can be especially scary. Contrary to popular assumption, testing positive in a DUI blood test is not incontrovertible . While blood tests are considered to be more accurate than breathalyzers and urine tests, they fall short of 100 percent accuracy. DUI attorney James Novak and the skilled team at Law Office of James Novak in Phoenix, AZ, work on behalf of clients charged with driving under the influence. We examine arrest details to uncover potential errors that could lead to reduced or dismissed charges. We have helped clear falsely accused diabetic patients. Differentiating between an intoxicated driver and a patient undergoing a diabetic emergency is not as easy as you may think. It is normal to assume that a driver weaving uncontrollably through traffic is under the influence of alcohol, especially if he or she acts combatively when pulled over. However, failing to differentiate between a drunk driver and a patient in danger can cause serious harm. So, how can you tell the difference? Diabetic patients often wear medical alert bracelets and necklaces Diabetic patients may have an insulin pump strapped on underneath their shirt Diabetic patients may have medical cards and prescriptions on them Diabetic patients may have scar tissue on their abdomen signaling repeated injections While it is true that blood tests are regarded as more accurate than other testing methods, they are nonetheless imperfect. The blood sample may not be kept in identical conditions to Continue reading >>
Wisconsin Owi: Diabetes Leads To Elevated B.a.c. Levels
Wisconsin OWI: Diabetes Leads to Elevated B.A.C. Levels Did you know about 15-20% of drivers are diabetic? That is an average of 1 in every 7 drivers. Diabetes is a medical condition in which blood sugars may be too high or too low. The liver is the main organ in the body affected by diabetes. The liver is also the main organ in the body to rid the body of alcohol. When a diabetic consumes alcohol, their blood sugars begin to drop, and the liver responds to ridding the alcohol instead of its main job of regulating blood glucose levels. Hypoglycemia (extremely low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia also known as ketoacidosis (extremely high blood sugar), show signs of sleepiness, dizziness, disorientation, and production of acetone on the breath. When a police officer makes a stop, these are signs similar to a Wisconsin drunk driver. Low Blood Sugar Cause for a Wisconsin DUI Some reasons for hypoglycemia are lack of food and ingestion of alcohol. Signs of hypoglycemia include headache, weakness, irritability, lack of muscle coordination, and apprehension. A police officer looking for signs of a drunk driver takes notes of coordination, understanding direction, and cooperation during field sobriety testing. Can a Wisconsin DUI Breath Test Clear a Diabetic? The answer is No. It is likely a breath test for a Wisconsin DUI will show a false positive or a falsely high BAC reading. While many believe a breathalyzer tests for alcohol, they are correct, but the machine tests for all types in the methyl group. The machine is programmed to assume that the compound is probably alcohol. A hyperglycemic diabetic in a state of ketoacidosis will produce acetone, which is in the same group as alcohol known as the methyl group. Ketoacidosis can produce an odor on the breath of fruit or nail 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 >>
Dui And Diabetes Breath And Blood Defenses
DUI and Diabetes Breath and Blood Defenses Robert L. Miller and Associates is a law firm dedicated to clients. We have handled thousands of cases, and have winning results. Learn more about our firm and why its the best choice. See some of the many cases we have won at trial or through motions, negotiations, or strategy. Learn why we are so successful in protecting clients If you have been arrested, dont delay. You have only 10 days to save your license. Contact us today for a FREE consultation, and find out about all of your options, and all of your rights, and how to protect yourself. DUI and Diabetes Breath and Blood Defenses DUI and Diabetes Breath and Blood Defenses It is well known, and has been for some time, that DUI and Diabetes Breath and Blood Defenses exist. The diabetes defense, however, does depend highly on the facts. First, which sample are you using? Is it Blood or Breath? That does make a difference. Then if Breath, what type of instrument wereyou, or your client tested on? The effect of diabetes is different between IR and Fuel Cell instruments, each of which are used in breath machine testing in DUI cases. Diabetes is a disease of the sugar processing in the body. The pancreas produces an enzyme called insulin that regulates how blood sugar gets into the body cells. In diabetics, this regulatory effect is compromised, typically by the pancreas producing too little insulin, which then has to be externally supplied, either orally or by injection (or increasingly by external pump). Diabetics can get into two types of medical emergencies, one in which the blood sugar is too low, and one in which the blood sugar is too high. Either of these can alter the level of consciousness and impair driving. Both can be life threatening, but the danger in the low bl 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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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 >>
The Potential Effect Of Diabetes On A Person's Alcohol Concentration In Dui Cases
The Potential Effect of Diabetes on a Person's Alcohol Concentration in DUI Cases Posted by Raymond Kimble | Feb 17, 2018 | 0 Comments Recently, a client charged with an alcohol related offense and another charged with Extreme DUI asked about the effect of diabetes on the alcohol concentration which was reported by the crime laboratory and intended to be used against them by the prosecutor. It is important to know that in certain circumstances, diabetes can impact an individual's alcohol concentration and affect the way in which a DUI, aggravated assault or even a vehicular manslaughter can be defended. In Arizona, a persons alcohol concentration following an arrest is usually measured by a blood or breath test. The Intoxilyzer 8000 is the machine used by police departments to determine a suspect's alcohol concentration in DUI cases. The Intoxilyzer uses an inferred light beam to detect alcohol and uses a ratio to convert a persons breath sample into a blood alcohol concentration. In some cases, people who have diabetes will suffer from low blood sugar. This is known as "Hypoglycemia" and causes ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis causes the development of acetone in the mouth which can be smelled on the breath and is often mistaken for alcohol. Breath testing devices such as the Intoxilyzer are designed to detect ethyl alcohol. In cases involving hypoglycemia however, the breath testing device will mistake acetones on a diabetic's breath for ethyl alcohol and report an inaccurate result. In fact, the presence of acetones on a diabetes breath may cause an alcohol concentration to be reported as much as .02 greater than what it actually may be. In contrast to a breath test, diabetes will not affect the accuracy of a result in cases where a blood test is used by police to determi Continue reading >>
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How Accurate Are Dui Blood Tests? | Dui Law In Maryland
Home Recent Posts & Articles How Accurate are Blood Tests really? When youre pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving, officers can use different means of testing to determine if you should be charged with DUI including field sobriety testing, breathalyzer, urine, and blood tests. While roadside breathalyzers are the most common and easily accessible means of testing, they are prone to miscalibration, human error and all manner of interferences. Field sobriety testing is open to the interpretations of the arresting officer and can be negatively impacted by issues with age, weight, medical and weather conditions. Urine testing, while less invasive than blood testing, needs to be correlated correctly in order to show accurate results. And, although Blood tests are considered to be one of the most accurate forms of chemical testing when it comes to determining a persons blood alcohol content (BAC), they are prone to errors as well. Here are some of the shortcomings to blood testing. Cross Contamination- One of the biggest causes of fluctuation in the results is due to cross contamination. Unfortunately, its the measure that is meant to protect you that can be what condemns you. The alcohol swab used to clean the area before the sample is taken can cause a spike in the BAC results of the blood test. Mishandling the Sample- Mishandling the sample can cause several issues with the result of the test. Letting it sit too long or improper storage can cause the blood sample to break down which can affect the results of the blood test. The amount of time passed between being stopped and being tested- Depending on how long it takes to get you to the police station or the nearest hospital can have an effect on the test results. This can show a lower level of BAC from what it was Continue reading >>