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3 kinds of medical defenses that may help after a DUI arrest

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2023 | DUI

Virginia police officers arrest people for driving under the influence (DUI) infractions because of poor driving skills, a car crash or a failed breath test. Someone accused of a DUI offense in Virginia could end up serving a sentence in state facilities. They may need to pay fines and give up their driving privileges for months depending on their criminal background and the circumstances that led to their arrest.

However, even if someone failed a breath test or performed poorly on a field sobriety test, they may still have options for defending against DUI charges. For example, sometimes there is a perfectly reasonable medical explanation for someone’s behavior or their breath test results. The three medical circumstances below might help someone develop a defense strategy for Virginia DUI charges.

Specific medical issues

There are certain health challenges that could affect someone’s performance on field sobriety tests, including mental health disorders and neurological conditions. There are also medical challenges that can impact chemical testing. For example, blood sugar issues caused by unmanaged diabetes could trigger a false positive on a breath test. Unusual medical conditions, like auto-brewery syndrome, could also undermine the accuracy of chemical testing.

Taking a certain medication

Certain drugs could potentially affect the accuracy of chemical breath tests. Those who have a prescription for certain asthma inhalers, for example, could end up failing a breast test if they recently used their inhaler before a traffic stop or collision. Providing evidence to the courts of a prescription that could explain a failed breath test could raise questions about whether someone broke the law or not.

Following a strict medical diet

There are a host of different health issues that may respond positively to significant changes in diet. Doctors sometimes recommend restrictive diets, like the keto diet, to help people manage their symptoms and get an illness under control. Those diets could affect their performance on breath test just like a medication might.

In some cases, looking over an individual’s medical records after a DUI arrest could be the starting point for a successful viable defense strategy. Understanding the most common ways medical records can help DUI defendants could benefit those hoping to avoid a conviction after a Virginia arrest.

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