High Blood Sugar and Breathalyzers


Please I hope there is no judgement on me but the other night I was arrested for a DUI. But the crazy thing was that I only drank two beers and that was a hour and a haft before I started driving. At the time I was scared I did tell the officer I was diabetic but that was no concern for him. After repeating and asking if I could check my sugar he finally let me. Only for me being scared and nervous I could not find my poker. So again I let him know I could not find it but I needed to check my sugar. He did not really acknowledge my comment and continued with the arrest. Because I denied the breathalyzer (because I knew I was not drunk) he brought me into the police station because there I had no choice. I blew over the legal limit a .1 something. But I knew that couldn’t be possible but I had nothing to back me up. When I went home I checked my sugar (all my supplies were in my bag) and my sugar was 385, I then started doing research. I found many articles that say high blood sugars can falsify higher BAC levels. I was hoping if anyone else went through this same ordeal and my have some information they can share. I know I have no defense to why I did not check my sugar before I drove and would take full responsibility for that but this duo can ruin my life and I am looking for any kind of help if diabetes can effect BAC.

Hi Sabrina,

I’m really sorry that you have ended up in this unfortunate situation, and I suppose this event was on your birthday. Unfortunately I do not have any actual studies that support your thought that a high BG might cause an increase in ‘alcohol breath’ when alcohol is not the factor. I suppose that the officer had been on heightened alert because you weren’t able to smoothly check your BG.

I’ll let you off silently with nothing more than a stern look and I will do some research on this subject for you.

hello @sabrina, very high ketones can cause false BAC on a breathalyzer. not diabetes, but ketones - which could be present with a blood sugar over 250. This could be mitigating in my opinion. you will most likely need a lawyer and a explanation from an endocrinologist. I am not a lawyer - but refusal to take a breathalyzer is a completely separate offense and I don’t see away to avoid that.

Hi Sabrina, I understand what you went through. Several years ago I had stopped my car at a pop machine to pick up a Tab (the only machine in town that actually had Tab) very early in the morning while going to a friend’s house because I felt ill. I’m not supposed to be alone when I’m ill (I was 3 blocks away and I knew that he wouldn’t have Tab). I dropped my change and a police officer stopped and approached me. He asked me if I was okay, and I tried to explain to him that I was in DKA and heading to a friend’s house. He had no clue about Type 1 and asked me to do a breathalizer (sp?) test. Because I was hyperventilating, I couldn’t blow hard enough. He accused me of not cooperating and took me to a detox center where a nurse was called in who tested my BG…it was 897. I was put into the hospital and put on IV’s.
I still had to go to court but had charges dismissed. Since this had nothing to do with my driving skills, it didn’t affect my record or insurance – thank God! I wish you the very best. Debra