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ASK A TROOPER

High blood sugar and affects of driving

Posted: December 18, 2012 - 6:43pm

By Sgt. CURT S. MOWERS

Minnesota State Patrol

Question: Is there a certain safe level for blood sugar for a person who has diabetes? I know a high blood sugar level affects being able to drive safely. Is there a certain level where a ticket will be written if known by the Minnesota State Patrol?

Answer: There is no level where a ticket would be written by the Minnesota State Patrol. Of course, I am not a doctor but I do know that the blood sugar concentration or blood glucose level is the amount of glucose (sugar) present in the blood. Blood glucose monitoring is the main tool you have to check your diabetes control. This check tells you your blood glucose level at any one time.

Even though there is no blood sugar level where a ticket would be written, if an incident or a crash occurs involving a diabetic loss of consciousness or voluntary control and a trooper or any law enforcement officer investigates, a request for an examination of the driver can be submitted to the Driver and Vehicle Services–Driver Evaluation Unit. This can be a very serious matter and the best advice is to ask your healthcare provider what your blood sugar levels should be. Some other reasons for a driver’s re-examination can include: general physical/health problems, vision problems, lack of physical driving skills, mental or emotional problems (including road rage, memory loss), loss of consciousness (seizures), lack of knowledge of traffic laws and others.

Thanks for asking and let’s all work together to create a traffic safety culture in Minnesota. Remember also to slow down, buckle up, drive sober and pay attention!

If you have any questions for future columns concerning motor vehicle traffic in Minnesota, please send your questions to: “ASK A TROOPER” c/o Sgt. Curt S. Mowers, MN State Patrol, P.O. Box 644, Brainerd, MN, 56401, or email questions to curtis.mowers@state.mn.us with Ask a Trooper in the subject line. Questions are edited.