Diabetes affects about 25.8 million people in the United States. It is a disease in which the body does not properly produce or use insulin, one of the primary hormones that regulate blood sugar levels. In defending a driving under the influence or DUI charge, diabetes may cause your diabetic client to have complications that would not be present in other clients. Namely, a diabetic may be suffering from a diabetic emergency that mimics alcohol impairment or your client could be suffering from the byproducts of diabetic metabolism that interfere with breath testing and perhaps even blood testing instruments.
Diabetics have difficulty regulating their blood sugar levels, as a result this can lead to a diabetic developing one of two dangerous conditions: hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and/or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can cause altered states of consciousness and poor driving which can be mistaken for alcohol impairment. Additionally, Ketosis (when the liver converts fats to fatty acids and ketones when the body is not getting enough glucose into the cells) can even add a breath odor to a diabetic that can easily be confused with ethanol. As a result there are many anecdotal reports of diabetics being arrested for driving under the influence when in fact they were having a diabetic emergency.
At the Law Office of John E. Kusturiss, Jr., we promise to take the time to examine all contributing factors in your case to ensure that you are not convicted merely for “perceived” DUI symptoms that are actually the result of your diabetic emergency.