Hypoglycemia may mimic intoxication

| May 25, 2021 | DUI |

When pulled over under suspicion of a DUI, the officer will normally ask you to take a field sobriety test to prove you have no alcohol in your system.

It is possible for an officer to mistake a hypoglycemic patient for an intoxicated driver. According to WebMD, you feel symptoms of low blood sugar when you have 70 milligrams per deciliter or lower sugar in your blood.

What is hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia commonly occurs in patients with diabetes but can occur in other people as well. Your body uses sugar as fuel, but if you go hypoglycemic, this means that you do not have enough in your blood. It can occur because of diet, exercise or medications.

How does hypoglycemia compare to intoxication?

When you have low blood sugar, you may not react the same to every other person. Each person has a different reaction, but there are some common symptoms that occur with hypoglycemia. Early on in your reaction, you may feel shaky, sweaty and weak. You may become dizzy, confused and your heart rate may increase.

As your symptoms progress, they do become worse without treatment. You may begin to lose your coordination and focus, creating a dangerous situation on the road. Some patients will even pass out or have a seizure due to low blood sugar.

When an officer asks you to do a field sobriety test, he or she looks for the most common effects of alcohol. When you drink, you may show slow or poor judgment, drowsiness, loss of balance and a lack of coordination. The more you drink, the more likely those effects occur.