Type 2 Diabetes May Give False DUI Reading

Recently, Sam Sliger of McDonald & Cody, LLC (criminal division) had an acquittal due to the client’s medical condition. The condition was diabetes. This is a very misunderstood area in DUI law. It has happened to almost everyone getting pulled over:  the officer will ask how we are doing and if we know why he or she pulled us over and the responses are usually, “Because I was speeding?” or “Because I was following too closely?” or something to that effect. The officer will usually say yes, but if it is the answer is no, then the officer will usually say, “Because you were swerving. Have you had anything to drink today?” Officers will try several different field sobriety tests, but they will usually result to a Alco-Sensor, roadside breathalyzer test.  Someone with nothing to drink will blow .000, but someone with type 2 diabetes could blow over the legal limit!  Read on so you know how to protect your rights with type 2 diabetes and DUI.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

According to statistics, Type 2 diabetes is a disease that affects one out of seven drivers in America. This is where your body does not use insulin properly. Your pancreas tries to make more insulin than your body can use, but overtime cannot keep up to regulate your blood sugar levels. This is called hyperglycemia (hyper=above, more; glyc=glucose, sugar; em=blood; ia=pertaining to; literally translates to “pertaining to the excessive amount of sugar in blood”). It has been defined as “insulin resistant.”  Rates of type 2 diabetes have increased markedly since 1960 in parallel with obesity. As of 2010, there were approximately 285 million people diagnosed with the disease compared to around 10 million in 1985.[4][5] Long-term complications from high blood sugar can include heart disease, strokes, diabetic retinopathy where eyesight is affected, kidney failure which may require dialysis, and poor blood flow in the limbs leading to amputations.

Often, a Driver is Wrongly Accused

Often times, diabetics with type 2 diabetes get wrongly and falsely accused of driving under the influence. In America, one out of seven drivers has type 2 diabetes. An innocent person gets pulled over, gets hit with a breathalyzer and before he or she knows it, is being carted off to jail for blowing over the legal limit and he or she has not had anything to drink!  Diabetes and low blood sugar can raise the BAC (blood alcohol content) anywhere from .6 to .9 percent according to many medical doctors who have done research and tests pertaining to this very issue.  With the diabetes and low blood sugar raising the BAC reading on the breathalyzer, someone being completely sober and not knowing what effect type 2 diabetes has with a breathalyzer will blow well over the legal limit to drive in the state of Georgia.  There are many cases recorded where someone with type 2 diabetes agreed to take a breathalyzer, being completely sober, not even drinking, and was astounded when he or she blew over the legal limit and was carried off to jail. It is unlawful and unjust to incarcerate someone who has not committed a crime and because of a medical condition that he or she has no control over. Recently, Sam Sliger of McDonald & Cody, LLC had a trial where the jury agreed that there was no impairment. The client in Habersham County was found not guilty.

Medical Doctors’ Opinions

Doctors have done tests and conducted research that show when someone with type 2 diabetes is more likely to have his or her blood sugar drop when a stressful situation occurs, and if you ask anyone who has been there, being pulled over and accused of a DUI is very stressful, even if you have not been drinking. Wrecks can also trigger a drop in a type 2 diabetics’ blood sugar.  The signs and symptoms that occur when a type 2 diabetic’s blood sugar drops resemble and mimic those of a person who is drunk. He or she will be disoriented, unable to walk straight (gait problems), unable to balance, and some even experienced slurred speech. All of which are signs and symptoms that occur when one is intoxicated. This just further goes to prove that intoxication cannot be determined by field sobriety tests or Alco-Sensor breathalyzer tests. The P.B.T. (preliminary breathalyzer tests) can be off as much as .02 on a reading anyway.  If someone with type 2 diabetes who is sober blows into one of the Alco-Sensor machines and it reads a .10, then the test could be off by as much as .02, in addition to being off due to low blood sugar from a type 2 diabetic.  The reading is not a reliable source to have the grounds to take someone to jail on.

If you are arrested in Georgia for a DUI and you are a person with type 2 diabetes, then contact us today. The attorneys at McDonald & Cody, LLC have been arguing and winning cases since 1969 and will work diligently to help you in whatever way they can. With your case in their hands, you can rest assured that your case will be handled professionally, properly and with the greatest care possible. Our attorneys have the experience to fight for your rights and are familiar to the area, both geographically and legally.  Contact Sam Sliger of McDonald & Cody, LLC today (706) 778-5291.