Acetone in Blood Alcohol Tests

     Something we are seeing more frequently in gas chromatograms, the charts that show how much of certain substances were found in a person’s blood by the state crime lab, is the presence of acetone.  Sometimes, the crime lab actually reports the amount of acetone in their two-page summary, which is all that most prosecutors or defense attorneys ever see, but more often than not they don’t.  We have also seen a number of tests with isopropyl alcohol present in the blood.

When acetone and isopropyl alcohol are present, it means that the person is probably an uncontrolled diabetic.  Acetone alone is also indicative of this problem.  So what impact does diabetes have on a blood test?  It means that the person has an elvated glucose (sugar) level in the blood, and that sugar with just a little help from an organism known as candida albicans will be fermented into alcohol.  In other words, the sugar in the blood of an uncontrolled (and sometimes undiagnosed) diabetic will be converted to alcohol, which will result in an erroneously high result.  This is particularly true if the blood is not refrigerated, which it never is while it spends three to four days in transit to the crime lab.  The blood alcohol level reported will not be adjusted to reflect the increase in the amount of ethyl alcohol in the blood caused by the endogenous production of alcohol.

The bottom line is that innocent people will be convicted.  An attorney who knows what to look for and a highly qualified forensic toxicologist who knows how to find it are your best protection.
Written by Allen Trapp who is board certified by the National College for DUI Defense and the author of Georgia DUI Survival Guide Visit Website

Written by Allen Trapp who is board certified by the National College for DUI Defense and the author of Georgia DUI Survival Guide Visit Website

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