Law Office of Lori Crystal, LLC June 6, 2019

The keto diet is all the rage lately among many in Colorado wishing to lose weight and improve their health. In general, those following the keto diet will eat low-carb, high-fat foods to put their body into ketosis, which according to some, makes their body burn fat for energy, resulting in weight loss and better health. One interesting aspect of being in ketosis is that your liver creates acetone as part of the process, which is released in your breath as isopropyl alcohol. And, this has very interesting implications, particularly when it comes to DUIs.

This is because many breath test instruments cannot distinguish between the ethanol alcohol that is in a person’s breath if the person has had too much to drink and the non-impairing isopropyl alcohol created due to ketosis. This means that a breath test instrument could register a blood-alcohol concentration level above the legal limit of a person in ketosis, even if the person hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol.

However, this doesn’t mean that a DUI is necessarily inevitable. In general, when a person is arrested for drunk driving, they will perform a second breath test on an instrument that utilizes infrared spectroscopy, which can differentiate between isopropyl alcohol and ethanol alcohol. Blood tests can also make such distinctions. These tests can provide proof that the motorist was in ketosis, rather than under the influence, and, thus, should not receive a DUI.

So, those wishing to follow the keto diet will want to be aware of the effects it has on their body and be prepared with the information they need should they be accused of drunk driving. Breath test instruments are not infallible, and it is possible that a false positive could be registered on the instrument. When this happens, motorists will want to know what their rights are with regards to a second BAC test, as well as when test results can be used against them in a subsequent trial.