Craig KuharyCriminal Defense
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Your keto diet may cause you to fail a breathalyzer test

In the leadup to the holidays, you may plan to try to shed a few pounds to compensate for the overeating you intend to do. While there are many ways to lose weight, the keto diet is popular among many men in Wisconsin. The point of the diet is to force your body into ketosis, a natural metabolic state where the body burns fat instead of storing it. 

Striving for a healthy weight is an admirable goal. Still, your keto diet may expose you to legal consequences that may not have occurred to you. Specifically, while a variety of factors affect blood alcohol concentration, your eating plan may cause you to fail a BAC breath test. 

Breath tests 

Breathalyzer tests are dynamic tools officers regularly use to determine if motorists have had too much to drink before getting behind the wheel. Unlike more invasive tests, such as blood- or urine-based ones, breath tests just require you to provide an air sample. Because your lungs expel different air molecules when you are drunk than when sober, the breath test can determine with decent accuracy whether your BAC is above Wisconsin’s 0.08% legal limit. 

Ethanol, isopropyl alcohol and acetone 

Breath tests should measure ethanol alcohol in your system. If you are on a keto diet, though, your body produces acetone. Before your body expels acetone, it converts it to isopropyl alcohol. Chemically, isopropyl and ethanol are similar. Accordingly, some breath tests cannot distinguish between ketosis-generated isopropyl alcohol and ethanol. 

OWI defenses 

If you face criminal charges for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, you need to think about your defense. Of course, if you are on a keto diet, questioning the validity of the breathalyzer’s results may be an option. While many breath test manufacturers assert their devices account for ketosis, there is little valid data to back up the claim. 

You want your keto diet to help you drop extra pounds before the holiday season. If your diet regimen causes a false-positive breath test, though, you may find yourself in legal hot water during a stressful time of the year. By understanding how breathalyzers may make mistakes, you can better plan for defending yourself.

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