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Did you know about this potential drawback of the keto diet?

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2019 | Firm News

Not everyone who subscribes to a particular “diet” is doing so to lose weight, even though many people do tend to shed some pounds when they change their eating habits. Many of the popular diets that have become household names and received a great deal of attention include vegan, paleo, Atkins and vegetarian.

Another one that has joined these others in recent years is the Keto diet. While every eating plan has advantages and disadvantages, this diet has one that could result in your arrest.

What happens to the body on the Keto diet?

The Keto diet burns fat for fuel instead of glucose, called ketosis. During this process, the body produces ketones, a by-product of which is acetone. People who remain in a state of ketosis could find high levels of acetone turning into isopropyl or isopropanol alcohol on their breath. This could result in a false positive when taking a roadside breath test.

Enjoying a Keto meal with a glass of wine at dinner becomes a risky proposition. If a police officer pulls you over for some traffic violation, such as speeding, running a stop sign or the like, and smells alcohol on your breath, he or she may request that you participate in a roadside breath test. Even the small amount of alcohol from that one glass of wine could put you over the edge on that test when combined with ketosis.

Why would the breath-testing machine show you as drunk?

Breath-testing machines test for ethanol, which is the by-product of alcoholic beverages. There is some contention that these machines may not tell the difference between the various types of alcohol, especially if you had a drink while in ketosis. If you show no other signs of intoxication except the results of a breath test, your diet is most likely the problem. Even so, telling the officer that you are in ketosis will probably not stop an arrest.

However, you retain the right to challenge a DUI charge, and presenting credible evidence that your diet contributed to the BAC reading could result in a dismissal of the charges in the absence of any other compelling evidence that you were, in fact, intoxicated at the time of your arrest. Officers use roadside breath tests to establish probable cause for an arrest, but they are known to produce inaccurate results for a variety of reasons, which is why Maryland courts tend not to admit them into evidence in the first place.