In far too many instances, the police automatically think that a driver is intoxicated if he or she presents signs consistent with being under the influence of alcohol. But the truth of the matter is that there can be a number of factors that can contribute to signs and symptoms of intoxication.
Medical conditions and signs of intoxication
Sometimes an individual’s medical condition and/or the medication that he or she takes may cause reactions that can be confused for intoxication. For example, many antidepressants and antipsychotic medications have an impact on the brain that can lead to issues such as slurred speech and poor coordination. Even medical conditions like diabetes, a panic attack, a stroke, low blood sugar, and post-traumatic stress disorder can all cause physical responses that mimic those often associated with intoxication. Remember, too, that physical injuries such as those to the leg might also cause an individual to poorly perform on a field sobriety test.
The burden is on you
Although the prosecution has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, when it comes to raising a defense where you argue that your medical condition is responsible for your behavior, then the onus is on you to prove it. This is because the state will likely have enough evidence to prove its portion of the case, so you’ll need to rebut that evidence by showing that there was a legal reason for you to appear impaired. This may mean submitting medical records and having an expert testify as to your condition and how it affects you.
Be thorough and aggressive when building your criminal defense
It’s stressful to face drunk driving charges. But you don’t have to sit back and let the prosecution drive you into a plea deal that isn’t right for you. Instead, you can diligently work to build a well thought out and through criminal defense that aggressively protects your rights. If you’d like to learn more about how to do that, then we encourage you to discuss the specifics of your case with an attorney who is experienced at handling drunk driving cases.