Diabetes and DUI Charges
On the highway we call life, we all have ailments, but not everything can affect our driving. One particular condition that is prominent in 9.3% of the U.S. population may have officers second guessing their DUI stops. If you suffer from diabetes, you may have a legitimate defense if arrested with a BAC above the legal limit. If you’ve been stopped for DUI, experienced attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC can help you go over your BAC levels and review with you what your next steps should be.
The DUI Stop
Often when you are stopped by a police officer, you will be asked if you have been drinking. If you answer “yes,” you will likely be administered a breathalyzer test. Maryland is an implied consent state. This means you agree to allow law enforcement to administer a chemical test for the purpose of determining your BAC. Refusal of the testing will result in suspension of driving privileges and your arrest for driving under the influence.
No ‘Body’ is Perfect
A breathalyzer, while a good indicator of a person’s true blood alcohol content, may not be 100% accurate. Even an experienced officer can come up with inaccurate results, especially if you are diabetic. Although the blood alcohol content of someone with diabetes may register as .08 (the state limit), rather than being under the influence, the driver could be suffering the effects of hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemic Episode vs. Intoxication
Having a hypoglycemic episode is strikingly similar to being intoxicated. The driver could exhibit the same behavior (erratic driving, slurred speech, balance problems) due to low blood sugar. Tests such as the breathalyzer, the one leg stand and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (follow the pen) may not prove to be easy for a diabetic. It is important for you, as a diabetic driver, to let the officer know of your medical condition.
However, if you forget to mention the fact that you have diabetes (or any other medical condition for that matter), the science behind your low blood sugar level (if you have developed hypoglycemia) may not prove to be on your side. A diabetic with hypoglycemia may develop ketoacidosis, which can generate acetone, something which standard breathalyzers are not designed to detect. A diabetic who has developed ketoacidosis may register a high BAC reading because the breath testing device mistakes the acetone for ethyl alcohol.
If you have been pulled over for a DUI and you have diabetes, defense attorney Andrew Alpert has the experience to help you through it. Alpert is familiar with breath testing instruments and has the training to perform his own tests. As a certified breath alcohol technician and a certified NHTSA field sobriety test instructor, Alpert has ample knowledge on the testing process and is prepared to handle your DUI case. Contact Mr. Alpert at (301) 262-7005 today to set up your free consultation.