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Could a health condition defense save you from a DUI conviction?

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2023 | CRIMINAL LAW - Drunk Driving

The human body is a marvel of evolution and organic engineering. It is likely that no one fully understands the things a body can accomplish. Some bodies stricken with certain medical conditions can mimic (or cause) intoxication.

Such conditions make an interesting conversation topic. However, they could also lead to a DUI arrest. Those with health issues may need to be extra cautious when driving and dealing with the police in a DUI stop.

3 examples to consider

The ailments that can resemble drunkenness are too many to discuss in a blog post. The following list contains several that most people know about, plus one you probably never knew existed.

  • Diabetes. Since this condition affects your blood glucose level, it can mimic intoxication in certain situations. If your blood sugar falls low enough to trigger hypoglycemia, a police officer may believe you are far too drunk to drive.
  • Ataxia. This condition usually accompanies other neurological illnesses or arises in those who have suffered brain injuries. It causes symptoms like slurred speech, loss of balance and unusual eye movements. Since field tests involve eye and balance exams, the police may believe you are drunk.
  • Auto brewery syndrome. Those with this condition create alcohol right inside the body. It happens because the gut converts starch and sugars (carbohydrates) into alcohol. It does not just mimic intoxication—it makes them literally drunk. Although rare, it could explain symptoms of intoxication despite having consumed no alcohol.

Do not give up on defending yourself because you never know what circumstances might make an effective defense against DUI charges. Knowledge of Maryland’s drunk driving laws can also strengthen your case.