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Does a low-carb diet impact OWI test results?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

In the past few years, low-carb diets have become extremely popular. They provide several health benefits, including blood sugar management and weight loss. 

Unfortunately, if you’re suspected of OWI in Michigan, your healthy eating lifestyle may produce false results if you are given a Breathalyzer test. 

Why does low-carb eating result in false breath test results?

When you start eating a low-carb diet and follow the eating style for an extended amount of time, your body enters ketosis. In this, your liver starts breaking down fat for fuel, which produces acetone. Acetone is a byproduct of ketosis. Some of this acetone can be released through your breath in the form of isopropyl alcohol. 

The danger of ketones when stopped for suspected OWI

Unfortunately, not all Breathalyzer testing devices can tell the difference between the isopropyl alcohol produced by ketosis and the alcohol you consume (ethyl alcohol). 

If you are pulled over and given this test by an officer, they may discover your BAC levels are high, even if you haven’t drunk anything. When this happens, you may be arrested and charged with DUI due to a false breath test reading. 

Defending an OWI charge due to ketosis

Modern Breathalyzer testing devices aren’t as advanced as some people think they are. This is clear from the fact that someone in ketosis may give a false reading and be arrested for OWI. 

It’s important to take steps to show what caused the reading when defending your case. This requires evidence and, in some cases, additional testing. However, if you are arrested and charged with OWI in Michigan because you are in ketosis, there is a chance you can fight the charge and ensure it doesn’t negatively impact your life.