• Mar 20, 2007
Swedish researchers have discovered that a low-calorie diet can register a false positive on certain in-car ignition interlock devices that disable a vehicle if alcohol is detected on one's breath. The anomaly was discovered when a non-drinking airplane pilot reported the incident. Turns out the man was on a very restrictive diet that had him losing weight rapidly, which is what may have caused the false reading. As reported in the latest issue of the International Journal of Obesity, motorists on very low-calorie diets may release certain ketones that could be converted into a secondary alcohol known as isopropanol.

Police officials point out that false positives are eliminated in the field as breathalyzer tests are used in conjunction with secondary tests that focus on the type of alcohol and other factors. No citation for drunk driving would be issued in those situations. However, if you have one of these interlock devices on your car, your low-cal diet could spell the demise of your travel plans.

[Source: drive.com.au]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow.

      After reading this post and the comments for it, including pretty much any other article/post I have ever read and had reviewed the comments, I have one thing to say. Cheers to you, Joanne, and thank you.


      ~Kim~
      • 7 Years Ago
      Those Euros have a funny way of dressing. OFCOURSE no offense intended to the thousands of euro autoblog readers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      OK, it's off topic, but wouldn't you find it hard to respect a peace officer wearing knee-high white socks? He looks like a hall monitor from grade school...

      -IB
      tfarnon
      • 7 Years Ago
      If your ketoacidosis (the condition caused by extremely strict and protracted low-carb or low-calorie dieting) is bad enough to make a breathalyzer show positive, you are in no fit state to be driving in the first place. You most certainly would qualify as Driving While Impaired.

      That offense can occur when you drive while extremely sleep-deprived, when you drive after consuming two Benadryl tablets (Diphenhydramine HCl--a popular over-the-counter antihistamine), after a killer 4-hour high-altitude workout or any number of other otherwise non-alcoholic events. DWI is STILL a crime, and if you ARE Driving While Impaired, you are very much a danger to yourself and to others.

      The chemical reaction in field breathalyzer tests can't differentiate between various alcohols. So what? You would be just as much a danger (if not more) if you were driving under the influence of isopropanol (rubbing alcohol), methanol (wood alcohol) or ethylene glycol (antifreeze). The difference is that ethanol (grain alcohol) probably won't melt out your liver, leave you blind or kill you in the short term.

      In most jurisdictions, you can be given or request a blood test. That test is far more accurate. Even so--if you have the crashing blood sugar levels associated with ketoacidosis, you are definitely impaired and should never have gotten behind the wheel in the first place.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As usual...PEOPLE CAN'T SPELL WORDS CORRECTLY ON THE INTERNET OR TAKE A SECOND TO REREAD THEIR POSTS, BUT STILL THINK THEY ARE SMARTER THAN OTHERS.

      Example: "Different diets make a person's breathe and body odor change. And a low-calorie diet can make you light-headed...so maybe you won't pass that field sobriety test"

      dictionary.com says...
      breathe-to take air, oxygen, etc., into the lungs and expel it; inhale and exhale; respire.

      breath-the air inhaled and exhaled in respiration.

      I believe the word that poster #6 was looking for was breath. The poster did try though, so you have to at least give them credit for that.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So does this mean that thousands of people have been conviced on false charges in the past.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Still off topic, I realise, but this scene is indeed in Australia, and was taken in the Southern suburbs of the large city of Newcastle which is 100 miles North of Sydney

      The shorts and short sleeve shirt are a Service uniform option for the summer months. The 9 Mil Glock is not optional.
      As with most Service Uniforms here in Australia, be they Military, The Police Service, or other Departments that require the wearing of a uniform, and keeping in mind the heat of an Australian Summer, the wearer can elect to wear the optional shorts as long as long socks are also worn.
      It's considered as looking Professional.
      Tony.
      • 7 Years Ago
      also u could tell its australian by the source link at the bottum. dee dee dee
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's an Australian police officer. You can tell by the Holden Commodore cop car and the yellow New South Wales (state) license plate.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "7. I apologise on behalf of the Australian people for those socks."

      It's OK. We here in the US have the mullet and plus-size spandex outfits. Every society has its fashion warts...

      -IB
      Joanne
      • 7 Years Ago
      Oh my, I just discovered I didn't make a spellcheck error but made one much worse and since this is my first time commenting to blogs, I didn't see if there was a chance to edit before posting.

      Therefore, I owe SharMulv a most sincere apology as I made an error in the name when I spoke of the spellcheck police chief.

      Sharmulv, I do sincerely apologize for my mistake in mentioning your name in that comment. It was not to be. I had written your name down to comment about the NJ police and that is how the mistake happened. All I can seem to do at this point is acknowledge my error and ask your forgiveness. I am truely sorry for my error and look forward to reading more of your postings with this article and/or others, especially other dumb things that happen in NJ (I'm from this state and they do perform some real dumb moves.)

      Again I am very sorry and seek your forgiveness.

      Blessings,
      Joanne
      • 7 Years Ago

      As usual...READ THE SECOND PARAGRAPH.

      In the field, false positives are thrown out when a field sobriety test indicates the driver is not under the influence...of alcohol.

      Different diets make a person's breathe and body odor change. And a low-calorie diet can make you light-headed...so maybe you won't pass that field sobriety test.

      This story ONLY references those in-car ignition interlock devices that COULD eventually see their way into U.S. drivers cars.
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