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Keto Diets and alcohol testing

Posted by Will Ashe | Oct 08, 2020 | 0 Comments

Will Your Keto Diet Interfere with a BAC Test?

If you're trying to watch your weight or manage other health symptoms, you might be familiar with the Keto diet. Based primarily on the idea that a low-carb, high-protein, high-fat diet can help you lose weight quickly, the Keto diet is popular—and problematic.

Following a strict Keto diet can cause your body to go into a specific state (called ketosis) that may fool breathalyzers into thinking that your blood alcohol level (or BAC) is raised when it really isn't. If you're stopped for a BAC test and you're in ketosis, you might be in for a difficult time.

What is Ketosis - and Why Could It Influence Your BAC?

When you're in ketosis, you're likely not consuming many carbohydrates. Carbohydrates generally constitute your body's primary energy source. After depriving your body of its normal fuel, your body begins to burn through your existing fat stores in order to go about your day.

When your body metabolizes fat in the liver, your body produces ketones - chemical substances that are similar in structure to isopropyl alcohol. This is your body's way of protecting against starvation: If you deprive yourself of carbohydrates, your fat stores can keep you going. Your body gets rid of these ketones in one convenient way: Through your breath.

Generally, this isn't a problem—until you get pulled over, that is. Many breathalyzers cannot tell the difference between ketones, isopropyl alcohol, and the type of alcohol that raises your BAC in the event of inebriation.

If you push your diet too far and enter a state called diabetic ketoacidosis, the ketone concentration in your blood could be so high that your breath even begins to smell alcoholic.

What Should You Do if You Get Pulled Over (and You're on a Keto Diet)?

Stay calm! When police officers test drivers for intoxication, they rely on their instincts as well as test results. If you're acting sober when you fail your test, the officer will be more amenable to hearing that the test results might be flawed.

Fortunately, there's precedent to get your OUI dropped if you can prove that you were in ketosis at the time of your BAC test.

If you find yourself in a situation where you'll need to take a BAC test, you will likely need a lawyer as well. Call our offices for further help managing a ketosis-influenced BAC test or the consequences of your OUI.

About the Author

Will Ashe

William Ashe is an experienced trial attorney with a career track record of determined effective representation and consistent sustained success on behalf of his clients. He has been named to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys every year since 2014 and has a perfect 10.0 rating by the lawyer rating site Avvo.

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