I was recently arrested for public intoxication. I had had a little to drink, had checked my blood sugar, been low, and not treated, and then had a lot of bad luck. I was wearing my medic alert bracelet, but other than that had nothing with me - i had just walked away from my friends to make a phone call, and left my meter, extra sugar, insulin, etc with them.
I don't rememeber a whole lot of the night. I know that I was arrested when i was super low, and had to call a friend to ask her what my birthday, place of birth, and last name were. The officers cuffed me and put me in the back of the car, and drove me to the precinct, and then finally called EMTs. The EMTs checked my blood sugar (at least 1/2 hour after I had not been able to remember my last name) and wouldn't tell me what it was. Then they left, and the officers kept telling me I was fine, even though I was pleading with them to let me test again, telling them that it would take about 15 minutes to go from normal to seizing. They wouldn't let me test, and for some reason they transferred me to the county prison.
I don't remember getting there at all, but once I was there, I had to fight with someone to let me keep my medical bracelet. I woke up in a jail cell the next morning. I hadn't eaten for 12 hours. They gave me breakfast, but told me I could not get insulin until the nurse has checked me in, so I didn't eat it. Then they moved me to a bigger cell. One of the people in that cell told me that early that morning, there had been a bunch of commotion, and EMTs running to my cell, so I'm wondering if I did have a seizure that morning.
Finally the nurse did check me in, and asked me what meds i take. I told her I take 20u lantus at one pm every day, and humalog on a sliding scale. i told her i test every two hours (which is true.) she told me "nobody tests that much. you don't need to test that much. here, we might test 3 times a day, before you eat. testing that much is strange." She sent me back to the cell. They brought me lunch, but again, no one would get me insulin. Every time I got someone's attention, they acted like I was just trying to get them to let me out.
After not eating lunch, I started banging on the cell door and saying "i need insulin." It took 45 minutes for someone to acknowledge that i was there, and another ten to get me to the nurse. It was almost 2 pm. The nurse asked me if I had eaten, and I told her no, that I can't eat without taking insulin and no one would let me have insulin, so I hadn't eaten. She said "you haven't eaten, and you want me to give you insulin, but then you don't eat again until 6 tonight." I explained about basal and bolus, said I need both, but she refused to give me lantus! She checked my bs, it was 70. I told her I should have about 4 g of carb, and she wouldn't find anything for me, just sent me back to the cell. Luckily, the officers came right after that and told me I was going home.
It was another hour and a half before I got out to a car with my meter and could test, and when I did I was 52. The whole thing was a nightmare. It makes me sick to think about all the people with diabetes who are incarcerated for longer periods of time, not being allowed to test, having seizures because they can't treat lows, or doing irreparable damage to their bodies because they aren't getting insulin.
The point is - medical id is a good idea, but the cops might not believe it or care about it. Don't get arrested.