Although under the law you’re considered innocent until proven guilty, in real life police officers often assume guilt until you can prove that you’re innocent. This is frequently seen in the context of alleged drunk driving. Here, officers tend to assume that any indication of intoxicated driving, such as slurred speech or poor balance, is solid proof that an individual is, in fact, drunk.
How a medical condition can come into play
Yet, there are many things that can present as evidence of intoxication that are completely innocent. Certain medical conditions are amongst them. In fact, each of the following medical conditions can give rise to symptoms of what police officers may interpret as intoxication:
- Diabetes, which can cause an individual to become dizzy and fatigued, thereby causing some to believe that an individual is intoxicated. Also, some people with diabetes can have elevated ketone levels, which can lead to a failed breath test.
- Epilepsy causes an individual to suffer a seizure and present as disoriented, confused, and without short-term memory shortly thereafter. Therefore, when a wreck occurs and an officer sees these symptoms, he or she may automatically suspect drunk driving.
- Dementia can leave an individual confused and irritable, and he or she may be unresponsive. An officer may believe that an intoxicating substance has caused this behavior even when that isn’t the case.
- Brain injuries can also lead to a confused state, slurred speech, and poor memory that can be confused for intoxication.
Keep in mind, too, that there are many medications out there that can cause a false positive breath test. So, in short, there are a lot of medical related issues that could leave you erroneously facing drunk driving charges.
Know how to aggressively defend yourself
A drunk driving conviction can wreak havoc on your life. That’s why you need put forth the strongest criminal defense possible. This may mean securing expert testimony and crafting persuasive legal arguments in light of applicable law. If you’d like assistance in this regard, then now may be the time to discuss your circumstances with an attorney you can trust.