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What You Need to Know if You are a Diabetic Accused of Virginia DUI


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3/9/2009
Mindy
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If you are a diabetic and have been pulled over for suspected DUI in Virginia, there is a good chance that you will be arrested, even if you haven’t been drinking alcohol.  Drivers who have diabetes and suffer from hypoglycemia are often mistakenly accused of being intoxicated.  Some of the symptoms associated with hypoglycemia are similar to those linked to intoxication, including slurred speech, impaired motor skills, poor balance and drowsiness.  A diabetic may also stagger as a result of hypoglycemia.

Drivers who have diabetes and are experiencing hypoglycemia, which refers to low blood sugar levels, frequently fail the standard field sobriety tests in Virginia.  A breath test used to measure blood alcohol content may give a false reading for a diabetic.  When someone who has diabetes has developed hypoglycemia, there can be acetone in their mouth, which can also be smelled on the breath.  A breathalyzer will often mistake the acetone for ethyl alcohol that is found in alcoholic beverages.  As a result, the diabetic’s BAC reading will be high, although they haven’t been consuming alcohol.

An experienced Virginia DUI attorney can help you if you have been wrongfully accused of driving under the influence.  You should not be punished for DUI when a preexisting health condition, such as diabetes, caused you to fail the field sobriety tests and give a false BAC reading.

The article, “Diabetes Can Give an Inaccurate BAC Reading,” has more information on this topic.



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