Reply
Long Lost Member
stevemal94
Total Posts: 1
Registered on: ‎11-28-2009

Diabetic DUI

Hi all
I was recently pulled over by a police officer in the state of Illinois for suspicion of drunk driving. I had consumed 3 beers the night that I was driving over the course of several hours. I was administered the roadside tests and was able to pass all of them except for the balance portion. I was unable to hold my foot in the air correctly for 30 seconds. (This is a task I cannot easily do regardless of the situation). The officer then asked me to perform a breathalyzer test, to which I refused. I remember reading an article stating that high blood glucose could trick a breathalyzer into high blood alcohol readings. I informed the police officer that I was diabetic and that I believed that I had a high blood glucose and that was probably the cause of my poor coordination. I was taken to the hospital and got a glucose reading of 422. I was nonetheless arrested for DUI and face conviction. I am wondering if there is anybody who has advice for me or knows of how I can contact a diabetes advocate to help me clear my name in court. Any response would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Steve
Contributor
acidrock23
Total Posts: 1,362
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Diabetic DUI

I think you need to be contacting a lawyer, not a diabetes advocate.
mollythed
Total Posts: 5,896
Topics: 75
High Fives: 1,035
Solutions: 114
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Diabetic DUI

Steve Malinowski (11/29/2009)
Hi all

I was recently pulled over by a police officer in the state of Illinois for suspicion of drunk driving. I had consumed 3 beers the night that I was driving over the course of several hours. I was administered the roadside tests and was able to pass all of them except for the balance portion. I was unable to hold my foot in the air correctly for 30 seconds. (This is a task I cannot easily do regardless of the situation). The officer then asked me to perform a breathalyzer test, to which I refused. I remember reading an article stating that high blood glucose could trick a breathalyzer into high blood alcohol readings. I informed the police officer that I was diabetic and that I believed that I had a high blood glucose and that was probably the cause of my poor coordination. I was taken to the hospital and got a glucose reading of 422. I was nonetheless arrested for DUI and face conviction. I am wondering if there is anybody who has advice for me or knows of how I can contact a diabetes advocate to help me clear my name in court. Any response would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve


One way to get started is to check out this page about the American Diabetes Association's legal advocacy program: How to Get Help

Then you can call 1-800-DIABETES. A representative from the ADA�s National Call Center will send you a packet of information and a form to request help from one of the ADA�s legal advocates.

"Molly" (aka mollythed)
Type 2 diabetes diagnosed in 1995, now managed with Lantus, Humalog and Metformin; diet and exercise.
My husband and three adult sons also have type 2 diabetes.





Contributor
lathump2
Total Posts: 202
Registered on: ‎11-03-2009

Diabetic DUI

I agree with acidrock that you need a lawyer.

I always have a hard time figuring out how diabetes should enter in to driving convictions. I don't believe that diabetes should be a free pass out of DUI's. If you feel that your diabetes was affecting your driving skills, then the fact of the matter is that you should not have been driving. But I know that is a harsh accessment of the situation and you should get a lawyer to help you through the maze of legal issues.

More often you hear of people with low blood sugar having traffic stops or accidents. I don't read much about people trying to use high BG as an excuse. The whole issue of medical issues and driving can get quite murky. If someone has a heart attack or an brain aneurism, most of us would give them a free pass. If you have low or high BG and then knowingly drive, I think you're in a different situation. But then, how about if you test before driving and have a good number, and then you go low while driving?

I don't have answers for you and I hope you can get it figured out.

There is a link on this message board about "Know your rights", so maybe you can get some info on someone to contact: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/know-your-rights/
You'll have to copy and paste the link because this message board currently doesn't support live links.
mollythed
Total Posts: 5,896
Topics: 75
High Fives: 1,035
Solutions: 114
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Diabetic DUI

lathump2 (11/29/2009)
There is a link on this message board about "Know your rights", so maybe you can get some info on someone to contact: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/know-your-rights/

You'll have to copy and paste the link because this message board currently doesn't support live links.


To create a link, just type or paste in the URL address, highlight it, and click on the IFCode shortcut on the left of the message box. Then the address will look like this:

http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/know-your-rights/ and when you preview it or post it, it will look like
http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/know-your-rights/

There are other IFCodes that will let you add a description and adjust the font, like this: Know Your Rights, but just creating a link is a good start.

"Molly" (aka mollythed)
Type 2 diabetes diagnosed in 1995, now managed with Lantus, Humalog and Metformin; diet and exercise.
My husband and three adult sons also have type 2 diabetes.





(anon)
Total Posts: 0

Diabetic DUI

i don't know too to much but i do kjnow this depending on your state you have a right iof refusal but that refusal means you give up your license for a year or something, but there are ways to get that overturned, so your biggest evidence in court is he said she said plus whatever was caught and documented either on camera or audio, it is your option to take something to a trial and in the end with our court system it isn't what you know it is what you can prove and whomever m,akes the best case wins; i would concentrate on that if your high bg is your story and your sticking to it than do so just be prepared to defend your reasoning because the state will refute it then you get to spend more money on a dr. as a witness that high bg etc etc. it really depends on how badly you feel you have to clear your name or how much moola you want to spend. if it's your first dui they usually let you plead out to a lesser charge and just go through your approiate reconcilations with the court.
Established Contributor
kellywpa
Total Posts: 2,750
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Diabetic DUI

Although I do agree that you need an attorney, I agree with Lathump that you should not be using your diabetes as a free pass out of a DUI. I totally understand about poor coordination - I have neuropathy and balance problems and would never be able to pass a coordination test. I have not driven since the summer of 2005 because of my neuropathy. My doctor at the time handed me a script for hand controls. It was not just my not being able to feel my feet that was the problem, but also the fact that I knew my reflexes were very bad and I did not want to kill someone because I could not react to a situation fast enough so I quit driving.

You say that you were taken to the hospital and a glucose test done, but I imagine that they also did a blood alcohol test at that point since you refused the breathalyzer test. I have a feeling that was the basis for the DUI charge
.

Kelly
www.kellywpa.wordpress.com
Type 1, Diagnosed January, 1984
Dexcom Seven Plus CGMS

Pumping With Animas PIng & Apidra Since June, 2010

Super Advisor
Pam01
Total Posts: 2,199
Registered on: ‎11-02-2009

Diabetic DUI

Steve - the second question you should be asking is "HOw do I prevent 422 as a blood sugar reading". That is exceptionally high.

And while this advice might be too late for the original poster, in most cases you want to take the breathalizer and then have a lawyer question it's validity in court. While yes you have the "right" to refuse to take it, as someone else said in most states this means automatic suspension of your license.
Pam

Diagnosed Type 1 at age 16 months, over 45 years now
Minimed pump and cgm since July '09. Metformin (insulin resistance), levothyroxine(thyroid), losartan (BP)

I have traveled cross country, and to Canada, UK, Kenya, Mexico, Jamaica, Equador/Galapagos islands, and lived in Egypt for a year.
Contributor
acidrock23
Total Posts: 1,362
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Diabetic DUI

kellywpa (11/29/2009)

You say that you were taken to the hospital and a glucose test done, but I imagine that they also did a blood alcohol test at that point since you refused the breathalyzer test. I have a feeling that was the basis for the DUI charge
.


In Illinois, if you refuse a breathalyzer, you are charged w/ a DUI. The hospital will generally check if they are treating you, often as part of a CBC on trauma patients but I'm not sure if they would have approached the hyperglycemia as a 'trauma' the same way? I think that if he contests the charges (pleads not guilty...) they could subpoena the hospital records to prove that but that's also a bit dicey since there's a time delay factor there? I deal w/ some of these issues at work and the only way any sort of clinician could become involved in a court case would generally be as an expert witness which can be expensive? Again, a lawyer would be able to research the case law involved in the matter to see if it might be worth a couple thousand bucks in expenses/ legal fees to go for a big case like that.

The other side is that if you claim that you had no balance b/c your BG was messed up, I suspect that the state's attorney would likely have few qualms about flipping that defense to say that you were DUI your messed up BG, which probably would have similar implications?

I do know, from my job investigating car accidents, that a lot of DUI charges are plea bargained away w/ probabtion and I suspect that since there's already a pricing mechanism/ fee structures in place for those kind of deals, that might be your most cost-effective solution? A lawyer should be able to listen to what you have to say and give you some advice about what it would cost. I would bet $100 pretend internet money that it would be more expensive to try to work a defense out of the BG angle though? Good luck w/ all that!
Established Contributor
fyre522
Total Posts: 1,438
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Diabetic DUI

Steve,

Your question leads me to ask a question.... how on Earth did you NOT know that your BG was that high!? I know when I hit around 200... I get REALLY irritable, hot, tired... not a pretty picture. 422mg/dL would have me reaching for some serious insulin dosing!

And you chose to drive with your BG that high? There had to be a time delay between the time you got pulled over and the time they took your BG in the hospital, which means that most likely your BG was even higher than that at the time you were stopped.

I'd seriously look into getting a lawyer about that. Or really weigh my options before drinking and driving.

~Rae~ (Type 1.5, aka LADA)

 Treat every stressful situation like a dog... if you can't eat it or play with it, just pee on it and walk away...

Advair, Albuterol-Isopro mix, Bystolic, Colchicine, Combivent, Fentanyl,   Fish Oil, Furosemide,  Humulin R U-500, Hydroxazine, Iron, Klor-Con, Lipitor, L-Lysine, Magnesium,  Metolazone, Oxycodone, Spironolactone, Topamax, Trilipix, Uloric, Vitamin D 50,000,  Zoloft. 

(Hey, if you took all these meds, you'd need happy pills too!)