One situation that has been coming up with increasing frequency in my DUI practice has been when diabetic individuals are charged with DUI. It has been extremely surprising to me that officers involved in these cases have not been trained to understand what diabetes is and how it can mimic intoxication in someone especially when that person is experiencing a low blood sugar episode.
When a diabetic is experiencing low blood sugar, their motor functions can be impaired, causing them to drive erratically. This can easily be the basis for a traffic stop for suspicion of dui. However, this may be just the beginning of the diabetic's problems. Some other symptoms of low blood sugar may include slurred speech, impaired balance, disorientation, and poor motor control. Coincidentally, these are all things that officers look for to identify someone who is too intoxicated to operate a vehicle.
To make matters even worse, there are studies that show that a diabetic can receive a false positive on a breath test. The International Journal of Obesity has written on the subject here.
What should someone do if they are a diabetic and get stopped for DUI? First, you should inform the officer that you are diabetic and possibly suffering from low blood sugar. The most immediate problem is that you could be in a situation where you need medical treatment. Secondly, if you have not had anything alcoholic to drink, you should insist on a blood test rather than the breath test that is normally administered. If you have been drinking in addition to being diabetic, you may want to consider whether or not to submit to any type of test. Keep in mind that the police may get a warrant and take a blood sample without your consent.
Finally, if you find yourself in the situation where you are diabetic and have been charged with a DUI in Alabama, you need to seek the advice of a competent DUI Defense Attorney who has experience in dealing with your situation. Don't hesitate to contact me about your case, in many cases you could lose your license if you fail to act within 10 days of your arrest! Contact me immediately for a free consultation.