Keto Diet May Trick A Breathalyzer Into Thinking You Are Drunk

January 29, 2019
police lights

The Keto Diet is definitely one of the more popular weight loss programs today.  Similar to the Atkins diet, Keto drastically reduces your carb intake and replaces them with fat, so that when your body runs out of carbohydrates, it buns fat molecules for energy which, medically speaking, is a state of ketosis. Many studies claim that it not only helps you lose weight and improve your heath but may even have benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. But one side effect is can create a false positive on a breathalyzer commonly used to detect alcohol on driver's breath. In ketosis, your liver breaks down fat for fuel, creating acetone as a byproduct. Some of that acetone is then released through your breath as isopropyl alcohol. However breathalyzers sold at stores cannot detect the difference between ethanol alcohol, which is found in drinks and isopropyl alcohol, meaning you could be deemed over the limit when you are 100% sober. While police departments use a different kind of breathalyzers in their cars that state they can tell the difference in alcohol, an attorney reviewing data could not find peer-reviewed data confirming this claim. But Keto is not alone in false-positives. Other medical conditions can cause breathalyzers to malfunction, such as diabetes and GERD or acid reflux.  Perhaps this is why in Florida, along with many other states, field breathalyzer results are not allowed in court and why a second test is performed using an infrared spectroscopy machine or a blood test, which give a more accurate reading.  In fact, the main problem may affect those convicted of DUI that have breathalyzer ignition locks on their cars. The Keto Diet false positive may cause the locking system to register a violation that keeps your car from starting. But before you claim you're on Keto when you have been drinking, keep in mind that law enforcement are trained to know the difference. But if you are sober and blow a false positive, experts suggest you go back to the police station for the more detailed test, which should clear your name and result in charges not being filed.

SOURCE: Men's Health

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