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  • medical conditions and DUI

    I had been diagnosed as being hypoglycemic about a year ago and was told to always make sure I had either glucose tablets, a juice of some sort or hard candy with me for when my blood sugar would get low. I was ALWAYS so careful about having tablets with me because I hated the symptoms that came with low blood sugar and the minute I noticed a symptom I would pop something in my mouth.

    A week ago I had a rare late night out with my friends. I ended up falling asleep on my best friend's couch after we had spent the night watching sappy movies. I woke up and saw the clock and panicked because I needed to get home (it was around 2am) I felt the symptoms of low blood sugar coming on (last I ate was around 6 so they were definately noticeable) but I was five or so miles from my house and figured that it couldn't get that much lower in two miles.

    I was wrong. By the time I was a couple miles from my house everything was blurry, I was lightheaded, I was seeing double, I was shaking and sweating, my heart was racing...I knew that if I kept driving I was more than likely to get myself in a wreck and hurt myself or somebody else so I pulled over on the side of the road and laid my head on the steering wheel. After a while I figured I would get out of my car and look for something with sugar. At that point, if I had found a piece of candy on the car floor that someone had spit out, I would've eaten it for the sugar. I got out of my car and the world started to spin...so I just stood there for a little bit trying to make the world stop spinning. With my hands on the car to help me get to the back I dug through everything. Then I heard someone behind me and it was a cop.

    She thought I was drunk. She asked me how much I had to drink. I said nothing. She goes "oh yeah?" like she didn't believe me. I asked if she had anything with sugar...she gave me a weird look (understandable). After a while I had to get back into my car because I felt like I was going to pass out. I got back in the car. She kindly asked me to get out. Then she noticed my medical bracelet. I never seen a person move so fast. She radioed for a squad and she was down by my side trying to keep me alert. She explained that she had reason to believe I was drunk and that often medical conditions can cause people to make them act drunk.

    To make this longer story shorter...the squad came and gave me oral glucose and within ten minutes I was more alert than what I was. The officer felt terrible and I felt bad for her. I told her it was okay and it was understandable. She told me that it was good I pulled over and to to keep it in check and to be careful. I ALWAYS have tablets with me...but had run out the day before and had forgotten to run to the drug store to pick up some. That was the stupidest move ever on my part (that and deciding to leave my friend's house to go home )

    It didn't even dawn on me that medical conditions, when they act up, can have people appear drunk. I completely understood why she pulled me over. I completely understood why she believed I was drunk. (note: even if I wanted to drink I wouldn't be able to because of my blood sugar!). I was stumbling around my car, holding onto it to make the world stop spinning. I was slurring my words (a symptom of low blood sugar also)...so obviously all the signs of being drunk were there.

    How often does this occur? Has anyone ever had an experience of pulling someone over you thought was drunk, determined to give a sobriety test, only to find out they had a medical condition? I am just curious, is all.

    Sorry it's so long...I tend to write long books I am expecting some kind of letter from somewhere saying I need to go to a doctor and get a letter. This is the first time this has happened. Like I said, at the onset of symptoms I have a tablet in my mouth. I am usually really good about that. This time I was just stupid, I guess

    Thanks, guys!

  • #2
    We were trained in my academy on your exact condition. I'd send in a letter to the officer's dept thanking her for her quick and appropriate actions that night.
    "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

    For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pkagel
      We were trained in my academy on your exact condition. I'd send in a letter to the officer's dept thanking her for her quick and appropriate actions that night.
      absolutly, kudos to the officers that night.

      Comment


      • #4
        For a person with the name of SHYONE you sure talk alot Glad to hear you ok and that the cop did her job, Being SLEEPY {I know Iam on nights} and low blood sugar { i know cause it always happens to me, thats why Iam always eating } do mimic DUI. Sleepy drivers cause too many avoidable accidents but I dont know the stats. Maybe the Nat. Highway Traffic board has stats or your local Dept. of Transp. on their website.
        I got nothing for now

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        • #5
          Originally posted by e-man
          For a person with the name of SHYONE you sure talk alot Glad to hear you ok and that the cop did her job, Being SLEEPY {I know Iam on nights} and low blood sugar { i know cause it always happens to me, thats why Iam always eating } do mimic DUI. Sleepy drivers cause too many avoidable accidents but I dont know the stats. Maybe the Nat. Highway Traffic board has stats or your local Dept. of Transp. on their website.
          before i got out of LE, i heard something about some places trying to pass the "sleepy driver" law, it s been about 6 mo since i left, have you heard anything more about this.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by gotthblues
            before i got out of LE, i heard something about some places trying to pass the "sleepy driver" law, it s been about 6 mo since i left, have you heard anything more about this.
            No i havent BUT it is a huge problem. I just read in the local paper {www.triblive.com} that a Cop in another county east of Pittsburgh is NOT being disicplined for falling asleep while working and Crashing patrol car. The chief said when they get sleepy they know to either go to the station or just check doors and get out of the car.
            I got nothing for now

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by e-man
              No i havent BUT it is a huge problem. I just read in the local paper {www.triblive.com} that a Cop in another county east of Pittsburgh is NOT being disicplined for falling asleep while working and Crashing patrol car. The chief said when they get sleepy they know to either go to the station or just check doors and get out of the car.
              hummm, well i guess they just dont care then,, just like when congress or whoever it was that said meth isnt a big problem.
              that doesnt suprise me, i found out that my former pd had an officer who was dui and crashed into a house, no problem, it happens, still there, i couldnt tell you how many accidents i worked cause of sleepy drivers, and that was in a 4 yr period. i think it ought to rank with reckless driving, here that is an automatic 10 points, dl suspended.

              Comment


              • #8
                Medical conditions and DUI

                Sounds like you learned a very valuable lesson. The Officer who encountered you knew her job as did the Officers who assisted her. Now, here comes the lecture. A little bit of foresight on your part could have prevented the entire episode. It's YOUR responsibility to properly deal with your condition, and you would have been fully liable had you had an accident as a result of your condition. Thus endith the sermon. You were very fortunate.

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                • #9
                  Many years ago I arrested a guy for DUI. Prior to arresting him I asked him all the pretest questions. One was, "are you diabetic or epileptic?" He said no. After arresting him and taking him to the jail he blows .00 in the breath machine. It is now he decides to tell me he is diabetic. He said he was embarassed at the scene to admit it. After a glass of OJ he was good as new.
                  Cowboys in town. Trouble expected.

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                  • #10
                    If your blood sugar is that irregular and unpredictible you should go to the Dr. Your condition might have changed to you needing to check your own blood sugar regularly and maybe talking pills or insulin. Not only is having a low blood sugar dangerous especially if you are driving it's also very damaging to your organs (brain...)

                    FYI..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PTI
                      Many years ago I arrested a guy for DUI. Prior to arresting him I asked him all the pretest questions. One was, "are you diabetic or epileptic?" He said no. After arresting him and taking him to the jail he blows .00 in the breath machine. It is now he decides to tell me he is diabetic. He said he was embarassed at the scene to admit it. After a glass of OJ he was good as new.

                      I bet you were a rookie then!



                      (Hint: No odor of alcoholic beverage).

                      I almost did the same thing YEARS ago, so I just had to give ya some sheeeeettt.
                      Job description as told by an old timer: "Drive fast cars, look at pretty women, and drink coffee".

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ShyOne08,

                        I'm glad to hear that your situation turned out ok. It could have been far different had you been in a rural area where no one came by.

                        This demonstrates a little tiny slice of the amount of training that most officers receive. The officer recognized the med bracelet, the symptoms of your condition, and requested an appropriate response to provide you with medical attention.

                        I think it would be appropriate (if you can find it in your heart) to write a thank-you letter to the officer's department.
                        Job description as told by an old timer: "Drive fast cars, look at pretty women, and drink coffee".

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ditto Lucky Seven's post.

                          To answer your questions, Shy, it happens more than I think most ppl think. Usually though with me it's a diabetic who doesn't have enough sugar or insulin in their system. You should always keep something on you though, even in your car. 2 is 1, 1 is none.

                          Good of you to pull over, but if you felt the effects before you drove and told the officer that, you probably could have been cited. If you feel the effects before hand, always take care of it before you drive. It's not just your life your risking, it's everyone who's on the road- including my baby sister, nieces, and nephews.
                          You have no right to not be offended.-Neal Boortz

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lucky Seven
                            I bet you were a rookie then!



                            (Hint: No odor of alcoholic beverage).

                            I almost did the same thing YEARS ago, so I just had to give ya some sheeeeettt.
                            Yep....that was an East Los caper!
                            Cowboys in town. Trouble expected.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm way ahead of you guys and have already sent in a note a couple days after

                              Comment

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