Arrests for DWI or DUI should be for those who are driving while intoxicated. False arrests for DWI or DUI for medical conditions are unacceptable. They can also be fatal. Sober diabetic drivers, those with liver disease, are fasting, or are eating a low carb diet shouldn’t be arrested. Any of these these conditions can cause ketosis.
I. Diabetes at Great Risk of False DUI for Medical Conditions
II. Inadequate Police Training
Ketosis is when the body begins burning fat rather than glucose (blood sugar). This releases chemicals called ketones, including acetate. Unfortunately, breath devices can falsely report acetate as intoxication.
I. Diabetics at Great Risk of False DUI for Medical Conditions
Diabetics are especially at risk for DUI for medical conditions. They need to keep their glucose (blood sugar) levels from becoming too high or too low. Too much glucose little is hyperglycemia. On the other hand, too little is hypoglycemia.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening condition that affects people with diabetes. Of course, it includes those whose diabetes is undiagnosed.
DKA results from hyperglycemia. However, it can lead to hypoglycemia.
DKA is different from ketosis. The former is a result of diabetes in which the body to produce excess acid in the blood acid.
The symptoms of DKA include these
- Flushed face
- Slurred speech
- Unable to walk
- Breath smelling something like alcohol.
- Obviously, these symptoms put diabetics at great risk of being falsely arrested for drunk driving
A number of things besides diet or not taking insulin can cause DKA. Anything that can reduce the ability of the body from using insulin properly can cause DKA. They include these.
- Heart attack
- Urinary tract infections
- Some meds
- Severe dehydration
- Misusing illegal drugs, especially cocaine
- Fasting and malnutrition in alcoholics
On the other hand, hypoglycemia, or too little glucose, can also cause problems. They include these.
- Trouble concentrating
Of course, these can also be interpreted with intoxication and lead to false arrest.
Too much insulin is the typical cause of hypoglycemia. Other causes are these.
- Not enough food (especially carbs)
- Too much exercise
- Too many other diabetes meds
- Other medical conditions
II. Inadequate Police Training
Not enough police have been trained about ketosis, DKA, and hypoglycemia so they can avoid arresting innocent drivers.
Here are examples of inadequate or even lack of such training.
III. Resources: False DUI for Medical Conditions, Fasting, or Dieting
A. Avoid False Arrest
Police need to know as quickly as possible that you are diabetic and may be having a medical crisis. Having a card in your wallet, a medical alert bracelet, and a medic alert on a lanyard are good ideas.
You may fear having your car window smashed or being pulled out of your vehicle if you’re confused. If so, consider placing the card below in your window. Of course, don’t give your name or other information on the card.
B. Web Pages
C. Popular Books
Am Diab Ass’n. All-New Diabetes & Heart Health Cookbook. The Ass’n, 2021.
______. Type 2 Diabetes For Dummies. NY: Wiley, 2018.
Amidor, T. Diabetes Create Your Plate Cookbook. Firefly, 2022.
Bleich, D. The Diabetes Lifemap. NY: Morgan James Pub., 2021.
Rubin, A. Type 1 Diabetes for Dummies. Hoboken: Wiley, 2015.
Toth, H. I Have Diabetes… What’s Next? NY: Rosen, 2021.
Zanini, L. Eat What You Love Diabetes Cookbook. Berkeley: Sonoma, 2016.
At this point you know more about DUI for medical reasons than most people. So congratulations! Know of any items that should be included. If so, email hansondj [@] potsdam [.] edu/. And thanks for your help.