Have diabetes or practice the keto diet? Your BAC may read high

On Behalf of | Aug 27, 2020 | DUI |

Individuals with diabetes, specifically Type 2 and others trying to control their glucose levels, blood sugar or carb intake levels, can benefit from practicing a low-carb lifestyle, like the keto diet. The keto diet isn’t the ultimate diet decision, as many people do not follow it, including diabetics.

If a diabetic’s blood sugar levels dip too low, which can be caused by too much insulin, specific diabetes medications, strenuous exercise, or eat very little food, specifically too little carbohydrates. If a diabetic’s blood sugar levels get too low, they could enter into a state of hypoglycemia, which increases the levels of acetone on one’s breath.

When a person with diabetes is experiencing hypoglycemia and is behind the wheel, they may exhibit the same actions of a drunk driver, including:

  • Jerky movements and swerving
  • Sudden braking and acceleration
  • Driving down the wrong road or taking the wrong exit

A hypoglycemic could also appear dizzy, clumsy, confused, shaky, confused, and could have difficulty paying attention when not behind the wheel. These are also common indicators of someone under the influence of alcohol.

What is acetone?

Acetone, a fruity, nail polish remover smelling substance can build on someone’s breath if a person with diabetes is in a state of hypoglycemia or ketoacidosis. Acetone can also show up on an individual’s breath who doesn’t have diabetes if they practice the keto diet. When your body is in ketosis, it breaks down fat to produce energy( instead of its favored energy source, glucose). Glucose creation comes from eating carbohydrates, and when our body is deprived of carbs, it relies on fat for fuel, which then increases the acetone levels in our blood and on our breath.

Those practicing the keto diet and diabetics should carefully monitor their alcohol consumption since an increase in acetone levels on one’s breath can cause a false blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading after taking a breathalyzer test. Dependent on one’s acetone levels, the false reading could increase your breath test BAC by .06%. The legal driving limit is .08%. So if you have high acetone levels on your breath and only had one beer, you could be running the risk of being charged with a DUI.

If you do get charged with a DUI due to a possible false reading, don’t hesitate to contact a reliable and tough criminal defense attorney.