A diabetic will look and act like a drunk driver to the officer, and will certainly fail any DUI "field sobriety tests". Hypoglycemia (abnormally low levels of blood glucose) is frequently seen in connection with driving error on this nation's roads and highways. Even more frequent are unjustified DUIs stemming from hypoglycemic symptoms that can closely mimic those of a drunk driver.
Most people think the breath test will show they do not have alcohol in their system. They are WRONG. Ignoring for the moment the inherent inaccuracy and unreliability of these machines, most suffer from a little-known design defect: they do not actually measure alcohol! Rather, they use infrared beams of light which are absorbed by any chemical compound (including ethyl alcohol) in the breath which 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 by-product of hypoglycemia 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 where there may be little or none.
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