DUI versus a medical emergency: What to know

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2022 | DUI/DWI Defense |

If you are driving and suddenly have a medical emergency such as a heart attack or diabetic episode, it is possible that you could drive erratically and cause a crash or other disturbances on the road. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to predict some medical issues, and you could be behind the wheel when they occur.

One of the issues you could run into at the scene is that the officer attending a 911 call or trying to pull you over may think that you have been drinking. Particularly the case for those who have recently had a seizure or a diabetic episode, their disorientation and slurred speech or other symptoms could be misinterpreted as being drunk or impaired on another substance.

Should someone with a medical emergency face a DUI charge?

With medical emergencies, you have a strong defense because you can show that you did not know that you would have a problem and could not prevent the accident or unusual behavior from occurring. While there may be some arguments you could face, such as if you have a history of these issues affecting your driving, the likelihood is that you could have a strong defense against the DUI charge itself.

What can you do to minimize the risk of a DUI caused by symptoms of a medical issue?

If you have a medical condition and want to try to avoid a DUI in an emergency, one of the better things you can do is to make it clear that you have a condition that could cause these behaviors (if you know about it). For example, if you’re diabetic or have seizures, wearing a medical alert bracelet could quickly take the idea of a DUI off the table and even help you get medical assistance sooner. You may also keep your medical equipment where it’s easily seen or have an alert card in your wallet.

If you’re facing a DUI because of a medical problem, it’s worth taking some time to collect information about your condition and to take action to defend yourself against the DUI charges. With the right approach, you may be able to get the charges dropped or altered.


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