Can Medical Conditions Make It Appear that I Am Driving Under the Influence?

Posted by Richard Lawson | May 03, 2018 | 0 Comments

The short answer is "Yes." While things can get complicated, some medications and certain health conditions may cause a police officer to think you are driving under the influence. DUI cases are highly technical, and countless factors can give the appearance that you are under the influence. We have had numerous clients call our office stating that they were falsely accused of a DUI in Georgia. However, it was in fact due to medical conditions from which they were suffering. 

There are some medical conditions that impact people in a similar way as alcohol or drugs. Some of those conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Age
  • Concussion
  • Diabetes
  • Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease or Dementia
  • Epilepsy
  • Head trauma
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Prior Micro-Strokes
  • Seizure
  • Stroke
  • Trauma from a Car Accident

To fully understand how medical conditions can affect you, let's look at diabetes as an example. Diabetic individuals can have low blood sugar or high blood sugar.  The symptoms of high blood sugar are not the same as intoxication. However, the symptoms of low blood sugar are very similar to being drunk. They include slurred speech, a flushed face, poor balance, impaired motor abilities, or disorientation.  These symptoms are very similar to what officers look for when determining if someone is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Furthermore, a Breathalyzer may actually register alcohol content because of diabetes, even though no alcohol was consumed. 

How to Avoid Being in This Situation?

If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, it is normal to get nervous. Many people are unable to effectively communicate and convey their thoughts to the officers. One way to avoid this is to wear a Medical Bracelet. There are bracelets and other jewelry items available to people with conditions that identify them. One example is diabetes. People with diabetes often wear a bracelet that makes others aware of their disease. Your smartphone may also have a virtual medical bracelet option, as well. 

One caveat: Some medical conditions do not allow for alcohol to be consumed while taking the medication. Therefore, if you consumed alcohol in violation of your medical instructions, your condition will not be a defense. 

The best way to avoid this situation is to be extremely careful when taking medications. Read up on them and research whether or not alcohol consumption is allowed. If it says to avoid alcohol, follow the instructions! Do not risk being charged with a DUI for not following medicinal directions.

What Happens if I Believe I am Wrongfully Charged with a DUI?

Contact our offices immediately. Our experience with defending Georgia DUI cases is unmatched, and we understand how medical conditions can make it seem as if you are under the influence. We will thoroughly examine your medical conditions and help you build a strong defense. We will demonstrate how the officer may have mistakenly interpreted the effects of your medicines as evidence of intoxication.

Contact Us:

If charged with a DUI, your best option is to call the Georgia DUI Attorneys at Lawson and Berry. We are highly trained and ready to assist with your case. You only have 30 days to file a letter to stay the suspension of your driver's license so don't delay. We can help you before you are wrongfully convicted and face severe Georgia DUI Penalties.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys

At the Law Office of Richard S. Lawson, we have offices conveniently located throughout metro Atlanta and throughout Georgia. If we do not have a convenient office, we will come to you. We practice throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. If your case is in an area we do not serve, we will find you an attorney in your area free of charge. Our office is part of a State-wide network of Georgia DUI Lawyers. Contact us 24/7 for immediate legal help. Our attorneys are standing by. Your DUI Case will not defend itself. Your Best Georgia DUI Defense Begins Here!