Are You Drunk or Diabetic?


Diabetes and Driving is something that seems to come up a lot in the press at the moment. Initially it seemed like there were a lot of possible changes going on in the UK surrounding the law on eating behind the wheel. There was news on decreasing the frequency of time that people with diabetes needed to renew their licenses too. But this week I read about people in America having to put stickers in their vehicle window to show that they have diabetes.

The sticker was developed by law enforcement officials and diabetes groups to be placed in the back window of a driver with diabetes’ vehicle. The idea was being trialled by one of the American states as a safety measure, the premise being that if a policeman was following a car that was being driven erratically. The officer would be able to distinguish as to whether the person was impaired or diabetic. Truthfully not a good comparison in my opinion. However, some people may be hypo without knowing it and it theoretically it could cause them to drive erratically.

However, one positive of the possible new rule is that the American Diabetes Association are stating that in order for the law to be passed, police officers need to be trained on what to do if they do actually stop someone with diabetes and they are having problems. Part of me thinks that if the problem of drivers with diabetes behind the wheel is that great a problem to have to wear a sticker on their car, then it begs the question as to whether officers should be training anyway, to help people in this situation.


But on the other side, would law enforcement officers be tempted to stop drivers that they saw had the sticker displayed anyway? Just to ‘check’ that a diabetic driver was okay. I honestly believe that drivers with diabetes would be stopped much more frequently as a result. And how far is the road between ‘labelling’ drivers with diabetes and deciding their too dangerous to be on the road? People with diabetes seem to be going through a bit of a bumpy ride as far as driving is concerned at the moment. But hopefully it will pass, as many of us know that having diabetes does come with taking more precautions, but it shouldn’t come with more restrictions.



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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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