Want a wealth of misinformation on any topic? Just do an Internet search, and you’ll find it. The problem isn’t that people set out to convey false information – it’s that outdated, wrong information never goes away.
Consider the statement, “If you are diabetic, your breath could register as a false positive on an ignition interlock or breathalyzer.” As diabetes is a fairly common disease, this could get a lot of people worried.
In fact, if you are required to have an ignition interlock in your vehicle, and you are a diabetic, you don’t have anything to worry about except staying sober behind the wheel. Diabetics are not in danger of failing a breath test because of their disease.
The problem stems from the time the first ignition interlocks were introduced in the 1980s. These devices used semiconductors to detect alcohol. They were also sensitive to similar molecules such as acetone, which is produced by the bodies of diabetics, and which is similar to alcohol. Cigarette smoke could also trigger a positive.
Interlock technology is vastly improved since the early days. Semiconductors are no longer used in ignition interlocks, or in fact any but the cheapest keychain breathalyzers. Modern devices use fuel cell technology, which is much more accurate.
So as a diabetic, your instructions for using an ignition interlock are the same as those for anyone else. You don’t have to worry that using an ignition interlock with diabetes will get you stranded, or worse, land you in jail.
Now you’re caught up? But when will the Internet be caught up? When will the false and misleading information on all those sites – some in conversations that are long closed – sites get taken down once and for all?
Don’t hold your breath.