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How does hypoglycemia mimic driving under the influence?

On Behalf of | Nov 30, 2021 | DWI Defense |

Being pulled over by the police is always a stressful experience, no matter the reason. However, if the officer suspects a DWI, it can become even more severe.

Unfortunately, those who have diabetes or undiagnosed diabetes may experience symptoms that appear similar to drunkenness. According to Mayo Clinic, hypoglycemia occurs when your blood sugar drops to lower than normal.

How can hypoglycemia occur on the road?

Both patients with undiagnosed diabetes and those who have a diagnosis can suffer from hypoglycemia unexpectedly. Sometimes, it may occur due to the medicine or if you do not eat for several hours. If you go without eating, your pancreas tells your liver to break down glycogen to release into your bloodstream. However, if you have diabetes, your pancreas may not send the signals and your blood sugar drops. There are various reasons your blood sugar may become too low before you recognize the signs and through no fault of your own.

How does hypoglycemia look like drinking?

When intoxicated, people become confused, uncoordinated and cannot control a motor vehicle safely. If your blood sugar drops, your vision may blur and make it difficult to drive safely or remain within your lane. You may suddenly feel confused or begin to lose consciousness behind the wheel. If an officer sees your vehicle swerve or can see you struggle to drive safely, he or she may automatically assume a DWI stop.

If your blood sugar drops, your skin may turn pale and you may feel shaky, sweaty and irritable. During the stop, you may find it challenging to perform a field sobriety test.