The Atkins Diet...Weight-loss Sensation and DUI Defense?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Nov 10, 2009 | 0 Comments

While everyone knows about the great weight-loss benefits of the Atkins Diet, few people know about the diet's other big advantage…it's a possible California DUI defense.

This is because low-carbohydrate / high-protein Atkins-style diets can fool DUI breath testing instruments. This is because most California DUI breath testing machines aren't equipped with the technology to distinguish between isopropyl alcohol (the type of alcohol that is auto-generated by a body that is deprived of carbohydrates) and ethyl alcohol (the type of alcohol that we drink).

And while a cop isn't likely to believe that your BAC is above the legal limit simply because you plead this defense, a judge and/or jury just may…especially when it is supported by validated scientific evidence.

In short, when you eliminate or drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake, your body turns to its stored fat for energy. When this function takes place, ketones are produced. Certain ketones convert to isopropyl alcohol which is excreted from your body in your urine and breath.

So when your body is in ketosis (the process of producing isopropyl alcohol)…and you submit to a California DUI breath test…you are actually providing an isopropyl alcohol sample instead of an ethyl alcohol sample. And because most DUI breath testing instruments aren't sophisticated enough to recognize the difference, a low-carbohydrate / high-protein Atkins-style diet can fool a DUI breath testing instrument.

This is just one reason why it is critical to discuss all health issues, dietary restrictions, and/or medical conditions with a California DUI defense attorney during your initial consultation. (See our related article, "Can a California DUI conviction be removed from my record?")

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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