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Diabetes symptoms can mimic drunk driving

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2023 | DUI

DUIs carry heavy penalties in Virginia. If you find yourself pulled over or charged with a DUI, it can completely uproot your life. When an officer spots a vehicle swerving out of its lane or driving erratically, he or she may assume drunk driving is the cause.

While driving during a health-related incident can be dangerous, some symptoms can come on quickly. For example, low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia can strike suddenly.

What are the initial symptoms of hypoglycemia?

As your sugar levels drop, you may find yourself sweating. Many people become shaky, lightheaded or nauseous. When someone drinks and drive, he or she will have similar symptoms. Alcohol makes it difficult to concentrate and can leave a person feeling tired and lightheaded behind the wheel.

What are the severe symptoms of hypoglycemia?

As hypoglycemia worsens, the symptoms do too. Unfortunately, many of the symptoms can mimic drunkenness. If an officer pulls you over and you have low blood sugar, you may have blurred vision and loss of coordination. You cannot complete the field sobriety test when you have poor coordination and blurred vision. To an officer, you may look intoxicated as you try to perform the test. Additionally, hypoglycemia can make you slur your words or seem confused. Like drunkenness, low blood sugar can make it difficult to complete normal tasks.

Many people can live with diabetes for months or years before they receive a diagnosis. When you do not know that you have diabetes, you have a higher chance of becoming hypoglycemic.


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