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3 medical issues that could increase a risk of DUI charges

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Drunk Driving Defense

Driving under the influence (DUI) charges in California can lead to numerous criminal consequences. The courts can suspend someone’s driver’s license, order them to submit to probation, require them to pay large fines and incarcerate them. Frequently, those accused of impaired driving plead guilty quickly because they think that doing so puts them in the best position possible.

People often expect the courts to be more lenient during sentencing if someone is cooperative during a DUI trial. However, there is no promise of lenience just because someone cooperates with the state during their prosecution. Not only is someone still at risk of criminal penalties, but they are also at risk of a criminal record that could affect their future negatively.

Many people are confused by criminal charges might have a medical explanation for why they failed chemical tests or field sobriety testing. The following are some of the more common medical issues that could affect DUI testing accuracy.

Blood sugar issues

People who have been pre-diabetic for years may struggle to control their diets and their blood sugar levels. In some scenarios, unexpected changes in blood sugar put someone in a state of ketoacidosis, which could lead to false positives on chemical tests. Even those who follow special diets could potentially be at risk of failing a breath test. Blood sugar issues can also affect people’s moods and their motor skills in more extreme cases.

Asthma and other conditions that require medication.

Sometimes, it is not someone’s body itself but rather medication that they take that may put them at risk of failing a breath test during a traffic stop. For example, some medications may cause false positive results on breath tests. Asthma inhalers are a perfect example. Several of the most popular inhalers prescribed by physicians can lead to false positive results during breath testing. Inhalers and other types of medications can potentially lead to inaccurate breath test results.

Unusual medical conditions

Some people do not have common health issues, like diabetes, that affect them during traffic stops. Instead, the condition that they have might be relatively rare. Less-common conditions can be more difficult to convince police officers, the court or even medical professionals to take seriously. Auto-brewery syndrome, for example, is a rare condition in which someone’s digestive tract produces alcohol. Someone with an unusual condition might fail a breath test and never understand why.

Medical conditions are only one of several reasons that people who are not over the legal limit might fail a breath test. Other issues that could affect the accuracy of chemical testing include improper device maintenance or infrequent calibration. Those who question the accuracy of test results when facing DUI charges may need help finding a reasonable explanation for why they failed a test. Determining if a medical issue may have compromised test accuracy could benefit those hoping to fight their pending DUI charges successfully.