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October 12, 2003

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Question from Ohio, USA:

My ex husband killed a pedestrian while driving. Forensic blood toxicology tests 5 1/2 hours after the accident showed 0.013 alcohol and 127 ng/ml of cocaine at the time of the accident. After being incarcerated he learned he had type 2 diabetes and was told he had had it for a long time. His blood sugar levels have been as high as 400. I understand that alcohol can raise the blood sugar, and cause false positives, but what about diabetes and cocaine? Can the cocaine be metabolized slower because of the diabetes, or also read incorrectly on a blood test due to diabetes?

Answer:

If there’s a question about the diagnosis of diabetes, an elevated hemoglobin A1c level should clarify that diabetes has indeed been present “for a long time” — so I presume this test has been done.

The alcohol and cocaine levels are clearly elevated and indicate drug and alcohol abuse, that has resulted in the death of another human being. Untreated diabetes is not a mitigating factor for this irresponsible behavior.

My advice to you would be to seek personal assistance from Al-Anon.

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