Diets and DUIs: How Ketosis Might Be a Defense for DUI charges

Many diets – as well as several medical conditions – cause the body to produce a chemical substance which is similar to alcohol. This chemical substance is known as a “ketones”. While these ketones may seem harmless enough – after all, they aren’t alcohol and won’t get you drunk – many field breathalyzer tests are not sophisticated enough to tell the two apart, meaning you might get busted for a DUI when you aren’t even drunk. Here is what you need to know about why ketosis might be a defense for DUI charges.

What are Ketones?

As previously mentioned, ketones are created when dieting or because of certain medical conditions. These ketones are the result of the body burning fat as a fuel source.  The problem with ketones, however, is they are chemically similar to isopropyl alcohol. And while isopropyl alcohol isn’t the same as the ethanol in your cocktails or beer, many breathalyzers cannot distinguish between the two.

Low Carb Diets

One of the common non-medical causes for ketosis are low carb diets, such as the Ketogenic diet, Atkins and the trendy Paleo diet. When the body is deprived of carbohydrates as a fuel supply through these diets, it is forced to rely on stored fat as a source of energy, thus creating ketones.

Low carb ketosis can also be caused by poor dietary intake, possible because of:

  • Anorexia
  • Diarrhea
  • Fasting
  • Starvation
  • Vomiting

Medical Causes of Ketosis

Beyond weight loss, poor nutrition and dieting, there are other medical causes for ketosis. Perhaps the biggest cause for medical ketosis is diabetes. In healthy, non-diabetic individuals, the pancreas releases insulin after eating to help deal with higher glucose levels. This insulin helps the body store this excess glucose, lowering the amount in the bloodstream.

In diabetics, however, the body cannot produce enough (or any) insulin, meaning the body needs to burn protein and fats to help. When this is the case, the body may enter what is known as “diabetic ketoacidosis”, which results in dangerous levels of ketones that the body cannot eliminate.

Ketosis and DUIs

Ketosis and DUIs might not seem like a bad mixture, but the reality is they can land you in some serious hot water. Ketones are excreted from the body through both urine and breath. As mentioned previously, ketones closely mimic isopropyl alcohol, meaning they may trick a breathalyzer test.

Also, when the body is in a state of ketosis, they may display some of the common symptoms police officers look for in an impaired driver, including:

  • Decreased coordination
  • Flushed face
  • Sluggishness
  • Shakiness

Falsely Arrested for a DUI? Call Piotrowski Law Today

If you are pulled over and arrested for a DUI, you need expert legal advice right away. This is especially the case if you believe your arrest was the result of a false positive. In South Florida, you can trust in the expert legal guidance of Chad Piotrowski. If you are looking for an experienced legal defense lawyer who will fight tirelessly for you, call Piotrowski Law today at 1-305-204-5000 for your free consultation.