When it comes to choosing a healthy way of eating, you have several choices. You could go vegan, paleo, vegetarian or keto, among others. After doing your research and talking to other people, you settled on the keto diet. You liked the food you could eat and began to notice positive changes in your body, so you stuck to it.
Then, you decided to have a “cheat day” and enjoyed a drink after work with friends or family. On your way home, a police officer pulled you over. Perhaps you were going a bit too fast, failed to completely stop at a stop sign as you turned or made some other seemingly minor traffic mistake. In any case, the officer smelled the drink you had on your breath and asked you to step out of the vehicle.
Even though you are not legally obligated to do so, you may have participated in field sobriety tests. You managed to maintain your balance, walk heel to toe and turn around and do it again in the opposite direction. Moreover, your eyes properly responded to the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Since the officer maintained his or her suspicions of you, a roadside breath test was administered.
Unfortunately, it showed that you were legally drunk, which here in Florida means that your blood alcohol concentration read as .08. You are obviously confused at this point because you only had one drink, so there is no way that could be correct. Despite this, you end up under arrest on suspicion of DUI.
The keto diet happened. The goal of this diet is to push your body into ketosis, which causes your liver to break down fat in order to fuel your body. A side effect of this process is the production of acetone by your body, which causes you to have isopropyl alcohol on your breath. Roadside breath testing machines are notoriously inaccurate and only used to establish probable cause for a DUI arrest. The results often don’t even make it into evidence in court.
So what can you do?
If you have not yet encountered this scenario, you can refuse the roadside test and ask to take the more sensitive breath test at the station or jail. If you already encountered this situation, you will want to begin building your defense by gathering witnesses regarding how many drinks you actually had and witnesses to attest to the fact that you are on the keto diet and in ketosis.
Of course, simply being on the keto diet will not absolve you of drunk driving if you are, in fact, drunk. However, if your arrest resulted from a false positive due to your dietary choices, the state could drop the charges.