DWI Attorneys Blog

Friday, November 27, 2015

Medical Conditions & DUI: How One Can Mimic the Other

What are some common medical-related defenses for a DUI charge?

Intoxicating substances can leave a telltale impression on the physiological response of one suspected of driving under the influence. Traditionally, watery eyes, slurred speech, and the scent of alcohol on the breath are all signs suggesting an intoxicated person. For many years these signs were typically relied upon by states’ attorneys to prove a driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of arrest.

However, thanks to advances in medical science, we now know that there are a number of alternative explanations for the above-mentioned symptoms, including the effects of diabetes, allergies, fatigue, and valid prescription medication. Accordingly, if you are facing a recent DUI charge and believe your condition may have been caused by an underlying medical issue, be sure to contact a reputable south Louisiana attorney.

Of all medical conditions, the effects of diabetes can most closely mimic the symptoms of intoxication. In some patients, the metabolic breakdown (or lack thereof) of glucose in the bloodstream can give rise to the smell of alcohol on the breath. This phenomenon has also been described as the scent of fruit or a sweet-smelling odor – all of which can closely mimic the smell of a margarita or sweet wine.

Slurred speech is generally a subjective observation, and there are a number of reasons for this to occur besides alcohol intoxication. For one thing, some individuals speak with a certain dialect or accent that may sound “slurred” to one unfamiliar with the speech pattern. For another, the effects of certain neuromuscular disorders, such as cerebral palsy or Parkinson's disease ,may also be to blame. Any of these conditions can be exacerbated by stress or anxiety.

Lastly, watery or glassy eyes can occur due to seasonal hay fever, an allergic reaction, or even crying! In sum, there are a number of medical-related defenses to a DUI charge. If you have been charged with DUI and believe an underlying medical condition may be to blame for your symptoms when arrest, it is essential that you contact a competent vehicular attorney promptly.

The Joe Larré Law Firm LLC specializes in DWI/DUI Defense, Car Accident Personal Injury, and Criminal defense, assisting clients in Jefferson Parish, Lafourche Parish, St Charles Parish, St Tammany Parish, Plaquemines Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Orleans Parish, East Baton Rouge Parish, Tangipahoa parish, and all other Southern Louisiana Parishes.

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