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Type 1 Driving within the legal limits.

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by johngarran, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. johngarran

    johngarran Type 1 · Newbie

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    I will be finally repatriatng to UK next month from Thailand and would like to know the legal position for diabetic drivers regarding what the Police view as too low or too high blood sugar levels if stopped by the Police or in an accident?
    I believe they view a hypo under 5 as too low and could prosecute you. Is this the lowest level? And if a hyper was felt, what is too high for them? I know one has to check before driving and then every 2 hours or so, despite doctors now being reluctant to prescribe too mant test sticks. Incidentally, I can buy test sticks and insulin over the counter here in Thailand at many chemists without prescription. Await your responses with thanks.
    Regards, John Arran.
     
  2. Diakat

    Diakat Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi John,

    dVLA say 5 to drive, so a reading of 5 within two hours of you starting a journey. Then to test each two hours into a journey. If you feel hypo, pull over, remove keys, test, treat and wait until over 5 again. If properly hypo wait 45 mins after sugars return to 5.

    Not aware of any top limit.

    You can buy strips over the counter and online here too, most doctors seem to prescribe for type1 but sometimes there are issues with individual surgeries.
     
  3. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    I'm sure someone will be along shortly, but the guidance says if you are between 4 and 5, eat a snack before driving as you should be over 5 to drive. If you are below 4, do not drive.
     
  4. librarising

    librarising LADA · Well-Known Member

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    This question of driving comes up regularly. The link below appears to be straight from the horse's mouth.
    I take it to mean I can drive if my reading is between 4 and 5, but that I should take some carbs to push my blood sugar in the right direction.
    I do not read it as "you should be over 5 to drive."
    Why can't the DVLA be clearer ?

    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/thr...ines-for-insulin-driving.112042/#post-1317044
    Geoff
     
  5. librarising

    librarising LADA · Well-Known Member

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    "The intention is to ensure
    that blood glucose is always above 5.0mmol/l while driving.

     In each case if your blood glucose is 5.0mmol/l or less, take a snack. If lt is less than 4.0mmol/l or you feel hypoglycaemic, do not drive."

    This just isn't clear. Doesn't say 'do not drive if under 5'. It clearly says 'do not drive if under 4'.
    The DVLA need to pull their diabetic socks up.
    Geoff
     
  6. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    It's guidance as it could vary from situation to,situation eg if a person got in a car during a meal spike but with their blood sugar about to plunge down, then they'd have to,take that into,account and stop to test sooner than the 2hrs.

    I think it also takes into,account the margin of error of glucose meters, so saying 5 rather than 4 gives more of a safety cushion. Personally I like to be in the 6s to drive.
     
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  7. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Expert

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  8. librarising

    librarising LADA · Well-Known Member

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    From our host
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/driving-and-hypoglycaemia.html
    • Do not drive with blood sugar levels under 5.0 mmol/L
    • If you have a had hypo, treat the hypo and do not drive until 45 minutes after your blood sugar has risen above 5 mmol/L
    What about a reading of 4.8 mmol/L ? That's not a hypo. With Jelly Babies and a possible 10 minute kick-in am I good to go ?

    All I'm asking for is clarity. Muddled instructions don't cut it for me.
    Geoff
     
  9. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    I like clarity too :) But I'm ok with these guidelines. 4.8 isn't a hypo, but the advice is simply to be above 5 to drive to allow for the meter margin of error and to be extra safe.

    So if I was 4.8, I'd 'top up' with a small amount of glucose/carbs as needed, then test again after 10 mins or so to make sure I was Ok then drive. If I felt the 4.8 was totally unexpected and Id been expecting a 10.8, then I'd think about whether I'd made some carb counting or other error, and I i felt I had, I'd eat some more carbs. If I felt something was seriously off, I simply wouldnt drive until I was sure that my BS was stable and around 6.
     
  10. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi Geoff - driving is an important area for me as my life revolves around using a car so I always make sure I am at 5.5 and over simply because your blood glucose levels can drop fairly quickly - I know DVLA states 5mmol/l but I prefer more margin to stay safe.
     
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  11. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    On the other hand, if you use any form of CGM or Libre, whilst you have to do the blood test, you can use the CGM data to determine what your course of action after that is.
     
  12. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    They don't see levels between 4-5 as a hypo, but if your between those levels they advise that a carby snack should be eaten.

    @azure is correct when she says it allows for a margin of error with bg meters and any active insulin-on-board, personally I don't have any issues at all with the DVLA's advice and it's there to keep everyone safe on the roads.......including ourselves.

    I've a long drive tomorrow and will make sure my bg levels are around 6 before setting off.

    As to an upper bg limit for driving, strangely there doesn't appear to be one which is odd as high bg levels can effect the lens in the eyes and your ability to focus.
     
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  13. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Expert

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    As has been said you can by sticks here but you cannot buy insulin without a prescription.
     
  14. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
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    @librarising
    Those bullet point comments have been taken out of context. The section you've quoted is clearly headed "How to avoid becoming hypo whilst driving". The content is not about the legal requirement for driving.
     
  15. col101

    col101 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I just read elsewhere that the DVLA has moved one step nearer to allowing cgms to be approved for driving. Mind you it's p one step on a long slow path lol
     
  16. Picci

    Picci Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I HATE correcting a 4.8mmol to drive, so I fake it. I rub a sweet on my finger then test again, sadly it often reads ridiculously high, but at least I can drive and I'm not going to ruin a perfect 4.8mmol!
     
  17. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    But why? A 5.5, say, is perfect too and there's a better 'cushion' for driving.
     
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  18. james11

    james11 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Dvla are more concerned that you are aware that a hypo is happening and can take action to avoid becoming unconscious or driving in a manner likely to cause an accident etc...the lower your blood glucose before you realise would probably cause issues with license being revoked etc
     
  19. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Seems an odd thing to do, why not just have small 4-5g carby snack and be safe rather than fake a bg reading.
     
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  20. db89

    db89 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It's a real bug bear for me too but that isn't a safe approach. How do you know that 4.8 isn't dropping? Simpler to just eat the sweet (5g~ worth) and wait the 15-20 minutes it takes me to rise back over 5 than risk a drop whilst driving and potentially my licence which is important to me.
     
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