There are several things people can do to defend against a DUI charge, and one that some choose to do is to claim to have a medical condition that only made it appear as if they were drunk or negatively influenced the results of blood alcohol testing. While this can be effective in some cases, more often than not it will backfire. Here's why that is and some better options for handling a DUI charge.
Duty to Drive Safely
People who drive have a duty to use the roads safely. This includes always being aware of their limitations and knowing when it may not be a good idea for them to be on the road. Therefore, if you have a medical condition that affects your ability to operate a vehicle, you are doubly obligated to ensure you are healthy enough to be on the road. So getting pulled over and cited for a DUI when a medical condition caused the problem may still result in you being charged with a crime, because the prosecutor may argue you knew or should have known you weren't fit to drive.
Of course, this depends a lot on the condition you're suffering from. People who are diabetic may not get as much leeway as they think, for instance. While it is true diabetes can cause you to score a higher BAC when using a breathalyzer—and sometimes you can use that to challenge the results—you may still be charged with a DUI or reckless driving if you knew or should've known your blood sugar levels would result in erratic behavior on the road.
On the other hand, if you suffer a sudden medical emergency (e.g. have a stroke), then the court may drop the charges since a stroke really isn't something a person can know will happen ahead of time or prepare for.
Possible DUI Defense
The only time a medical condition may help you is if it onsets without warning—in which you can use the sudden emergency defense—or it skews the results of BAC testing in some way. As noted previously, diabetes can distort breathalyzer results because it may pick up ketones in the body and misinterpret them as ethanol. You can use this information to dispute the accuracy of the test results and possibly get them thrown out. You may still end up being charged with a different traffic violation, though.
Other DUI defenses that may help you defend against the DUI charge include:
There are many other ways to defeat a DUI. Discuss the issue with a criminal defense attorney, such as at the The Gentry Firm, as soon as possible to protect your rights.
After I was accused of committing crime that I knew I wasn't guilty of, I realized that there were a few things I needed to take care of, and fast. For starters, I needed to focus on fighting for my reputation by working with a criminal attorney. I started looking around for a great lawyer who was qualified to take my case, and I was able to find a professional that I really felt comfortable with. They had a ton of experience and a commitment to keeping me happy, and within a few short months I was proven innocent. This blog is all about fighting for what you know is right.