DUI/Driving While Low: Kids in the Car

I read a post a couple of weeks ago in Facebook that really, really ticked me off. A woman left work and headed to her kids’ daycare to get them. She said she felt low and tested and was 50. She proceeded to get her two small boys, aged 4 and 6, get in the car and drive down the road to a store to get some “sugar” as she put it. She told her kids that she was low and not to let Mommy fall asleep. Almost as bad (I don’t think there is anything worse than putting her kids in the car and driving while low), even with normal blood sugar, she can’t see that she did anything wrong. In my book, there is no difference between what she did and someone that is drunk putting their kids in a car and driving down the road. I believe that this woman gets the most irresponsible mother of the year award.

Please don’t get me wrong and think that I am criticizing her (or anyone else for that matter) for being low – that is not my point. I have been there myself plenty of times. I went about 25 years before ever passing out – I thought it could never happen to me but it did. I was criticized by people that didn’t get it. Once after passing out, I looked at the 5 day period for blood sugars. I woke up about the same range, did the exact same thing every morning. Two mornings I stayed in range, two I went high and one I passed out. Trust me, I get it that the bottom just falls out sometimes!

I have also been thru doing things when low that I had no clue I was doing. One morning I woke up, tested and was in the 30s. The next thing I know, it was 3 hours later and I was on the living room floor with the dog sitting there staring at me. I came downstairs, walked into the kitchen and placed my meter on the table like I did every morning. I “guess” I took the dog out because when I come back in from taking him out, I open the blind closest to the door – that blind was opened. Then I turn on CNN to hear the morning news – the TV was on and tuned to CNN. I walk into the kitchen to make coffee – the coffee was made and a cup even poured. I apparently zonked out before getting to drink my coffee! I don’t remember doing any of it so yes, I get that you can walk around low and not realize what you are doing or remember anything you did.

There were times I would wake up and find strips in and around the meter. My doctor would tell me that I shouldn’t test when low, just treat the low. How are you supposed to stop doing something that you don’t even know you are doing? Fortunately I can’t drive anymore and don’t have a car or I might have gotten behind the wheel. So yes, I even understand that someone could get in a car while low and drive off without realizing what they are doing. This woman knew exactly what she did and did not feel guilty about doing it. I would have sympathy for her if she felt bad that she put her kids in danger, but she didn’t even think she did anything wrong.

Neither of those things were the case with this woman. She felt low, she tested. She knew she was low when she walked into the daycare to get her kids – she told her kids she was low. She chose to drive to the store with two little kids in the car and didn’t even feel bad after the fact that she did it! She doesn’t think she did anything wrong. I would imagine that most daycares have drinks and snacks for the kids. She could have asked them if they had juice or something because she was low. I have been low and asked strangers for help before. The people at the daycare weren’t even strangers. She chose not to ask them for help. Her choice was to drive to the store to get “sugar.” The fact that she told her kids what to do because she was low says to me that she knew she had a problem. Yet she chose to get in the car and drive those kids down the road.

I think most of us that have had some bad lows understand about doing stupid things while low – been there, done that too many times! I felt horrible when I would wake up to my dog sitting there shaking because he didn’t know what was going on. I felt horrible after passing out right after I put eggs on the stove. I felt horrible not just because I could have killed myself and my furkids, but my neighbors had little kids and I could have harmed them if a fire had started (I live in a townhouse so share a wall with my neighbors). Fortunately I passed out before turning the stove on but I felt like I put my neighbors in danger and quit using the stove for awhile because I didn’t want to harm anyone else. I don’t have kids, but I can’t even begin to imagine how I would feel if two little kids got killed or injured because of something I did while I was low.

Those kids were her kids yet she did not believe that she did anything wrong. That is just WRONG!



  1. Your blog has been quiet for so long and it took black teeth to bring you back!

    Driving while low is so scary and driving with kids is even scarier. I always go crazy when people have to “drive to the store” to get something to treat their lows. I argue that every Type 1 should have glucose tabs in their pocket.

    I have been accused of being a nag.

    • Thanks Laddie! I think it was more like getting some energy back – maybe the black teeth did that!

      I try to always have glucose tablets on hand but would hope I would have sense not to drive to the store if I ran out!

      I don’t think you are a nag!

  2. Terrifying stuff.

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