Low-Carb Diet Could Earn You a DUI

Here’s a bit of disturbing, yet hopefully helpful, news. Should someone on a low-carb diet ever have to take a breathalyzer test the result could be a false positive or higher than actual blood alcohol level. Even if they have not been drinking.

Police breathalyzer equipment has been shown to register false BAC readings due to the presence of ketone. One side effect of a low-carb diet is an elevated ketone level. Eating between 20-40 grams of carbs a day will induce heavy ketosis, where the body burns stored fat.

The impact of elevated ketone levels varies. Consider that in a certain set of circumstances even a slight amount of alcohol while on a low-carb diet could lead to an arrest for DUI. In the extreme it is possible to register above the legal limit of .08 with absolutely no alcohol intake.

DUI defense attorneys often advocate not providing a breath or blood sample. But let’s say that one does not drink or has not been drinking and they confidently submit to a breath test only to yield positive for alcohol. If that person is indeed on a low-carb diet consider having a blood test done. Ketones do not impact blood tests and such a test could save time and money by avoiding an unnecessary DUI arrest.

DUI Attorneys


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