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A low-carb diet may lead to DWI charges

If you are looking to drop a few pounds, you may be restricting your carbohydrate intake. After all, as Mayo Clinic research indicates, low-carb diets may lead to greater short-term weight loss than their low-fat counterparts. When on a carbohydrate-restricted diet, your body metabolizes fat differently. This metabolic change causes the production of acetone, which you may breathe out through your mouth. 

If a police officer suspects you are driving while impaired, he or she may ask you to provide a sample of your breath. If your breath sample has acetone in it, though, a breath test may conclude that your blood alcohol concentration is above New York’s 0.08% legal limit. As such, your low-carb diet may result in DWI charges against you. 

Choosing the right test 

Law enforcement agencies across the Empire State use fuel cell breath tests to measure BAC. While test manufacturers advertise that their devices can tell the difference between ethanol alcohol and acetone, there is not much independent research on the matter. Accordingly, if you are on a low-carb diet, you may be better off requesting a blood test to determine your BAC. With a blood test, there is little chance of acetone interference. 

Defending yourself against DWI charges 

A drunk driving conviction may have severe legal and life consequences. Fortunately, you do not have to blindly accept the results of a breath test. On the contrary, a growing number of courts around the country have questioned the reliability of breath test results in recent years. In addition to a person’s diet, the following may result in a false-positive breath test: 

  • Improper device calibration 
  • Incorrect test administration 
  • Certain medical conditions 
  • Some medications 

You have every right to eat the way you choose. Nonetheless, your low-carb diet may cause a breath test to produce unreliable results. If you are facing DWI charges, thinking of ways to attack the validity of the breath test may be in your best interests. 

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Neil S. Ruskin
188 Montaque Street Suite 404
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Local: (718) 237-1547
Fax: 718-875-4011

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