Medical Condition Defenses to DUI

San Diego DUI LawyerSan Diego DUI Lawyer
There are many medical conditions that can affect your San Diego DUI case.  Certain medical conditions affect the reliability of chemical tests for blood alcohol, performance on field sobriety tests, speech, appearance, and even the driving pattern.  Medical conditions which affect a person's ability to drive, may be used to justify a medical driver's license suspension, but can still provide a defense to DUI charges.  This article provides an overview of some of the defenses available in DUI cases, but is no substitute for an in depth case analysis with an experienced San Diego DUI Lawyer.

MEDICAL CONDITIONS AND PERFORMANCE ON FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS
During a DUI investigation, San Diego law enforcement officers will typically get the driver to submit to a series of field sobriety tests, in an attempt to gather evidence of impairment to strengthen a case for DUI.  Injuries, stress, anxiety, and many illnesses can greatly affect ability to perform field sobriety tests.  The walk and turn (heel to toe), one-leg stand and Romberg balance test can all be swayed by illness or injury.  Another common field sobriety test is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, which looks for a lack of smooth pursuit in an eye tracking can also be affected by medical conditions.  In DUI cases involving accidents, the accident may trigger certain injuries or stress that affects ability to perform field sobriety tests.  Consult with your DUI Lawyer about any medical conditions and discuss what you remember about the field sobriety tests you were probably asked to perform during your DUI arrest.
More about Field Sobriety Tests


HOW CERTAIN MEDICAL CONDITIONS CAN AFFECT BAC TESTING
Most DUI arrests will involve one or more chemical test.  There is a preliminary alcohol screening ("PAS") breath test, station breathalyzer test, blood test, and less commonly urine test (for drugs).  Breath tests are the most susceptible to accuracy problems, especially accuracy problems involving medical conditions.  Dental work can cause the increased level of alcohol in the mouth, and thus lead to falsely high readings in breath tests.  (More about More about Mouth Alcohol).  Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux, or heartburn can also lead to falsely high BAC readings during breath tests.  Since breath tests are intended to test alcohol coming from the lungs, regurgitation of any kind will cause unabsorbed alcohol from the stomach to read as alcohol in the breath, leading to inflated results.  Additionally, diabetes is known to affect BAC tests in a number of ways, including the fact that diabetics produce endogenous alcohol that will read falsely high in a breath test.

MEDICAL SYMPTOMS MISTAKEN FOR INTOXICATION
During a DUI investigation, police officers look for signs of impairment in the form of physiological symptoms.  Some of these physiological symptoms include redness in the face, red or watery eyes, slurred speech, walking or balance problems, naturally occurring horizontal gaze nystagmus and more.  If you suffer from any medical conditions or just simply have certain traits that can be mistaken for drug or alcohol impairment, it might help in your San Diego DUI case.  Consult with a San Diego DUI Lawyer to discuss your medical history (including dental work) and other defenses.

ASSERTING YOUR MEDICAL DEFENSES IN A DUI CASE
Effective representation in a DUI case involves a careful assessment of any and all medical conditions, physiological irregularities and more.  Getting this information into evidence at trial or a motion hearing, and using it effectively during cross-examination of the arresting officer, cross-examination of the government's scientific expert, direct testimony of defense expert and persuasive argument to the jury.  If you have any medical conditions that might affect your DUI case, it is imperative that you consult with a knowledgeable San Diego DUI Lawyer to discuss your medical condition(s) and other defenses.

The various DUI charges San Diego DUI Lawyer Nicholas Loncar defense:
FIRST DUI | DUI WITH A PRIOR | DRUG DUI | DMV HEARING | DUI W/ INJURY | FELONY DUI

Other DUI defenses include:
RISING B.A.C.  | MOUTH ALCOHOL | PROBABLE CAUSE FOR STOP | TESTING ACCURACY
PROPER TESTING PROCEDURE | DRIVING PATTERN | FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS


If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges in San Diego, it is important to understand the possible consequences, defenses and procedures for preserving your driving privilege and fighting the criminal charges in court.  Contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Loncar now for a Free Consultation with a San Diego DUI Lawyer.  During your consultation, we can discuss the detail of your traffic stop, arrest, field sobriety test, medical history and assessing the best defenses available to you.  Getting started on your defense quickly is imperative, especially since you have only 10 days from the date of arrest to request a DMV hearing.

Nicholas M. Loncar, Esq.
San Diego DUI Lawyer
SD Criminal Defense Attorney
www.iDefendSanDiego.com
619-930-9515
By Nicholas Loncar          
 


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