Question: First of all, I barely ever drink. When I do, I usually have something like a half a beer. I have never been a big drinker, even in my college days. So the other afternoon I got sopped by a Gwinnett County police officer and I got arrested for DUI. I really had about a half of a beer. But since I have epilepsy and I was having issues from it when I got stopped, the cop thought I was drunk.
He thought I was drunk because I fell down, I was having problems speaking and I was sweating. Again, I only had half of a beer so I couldn't have been drunk, but because of my epilepsy it seemed like I was blasted.
The Gwinnett cop made me stop because he says I went through a “stop sign” without stopping and he says he saw me do it. I was totally cooperative with the officer's request and took all of the field sobriety tests, but I didn't take a breath test. I've heard that I shouldn't take a breath test. My friend who's married to a cop told me that.
Maybe I should have taken the breath test, because I know I looked terrible doing those roadside tests.
What should I do now?
S.S. in Lawrenceville, GA
Answer: Many illnesses can make someone seem drunk or intoxicated when, in fact, they are not. Sometimes when someone is exhibiting symptoms of these disorders, the person can appear very inebriated even when they are completely sober, and that can cause serious problems on the field sobriety tests, which are often videotaped. Here are some diseases or conditions that can make it appear as if an individual is drunk:
- Brain injury
These conditions can cause:
- Lack of balance
- Falling down
- Problems speaking
- Appearing aggressive or angry
- Loss of consciousness
- Inability to perform a sequence of complex movements
- Inability to focus on tasks
- Slurred speech
If someone is arrested for DUI and has a diagnosed medical condition that can cause them to appear drunk, it is vital that they tell their DUI attorney of the diagnosis. It may be very helpful for their defense.
If you are charged with a DUI, knowledge and experience are keys to your defense. You need the best Gwinnett County DUI lawyer you can get. That's why you can call us 24/7 at 678-215-4106.
You can count on our experience, including having served as a Magistrate Judge, an Assistant Attorney General and as a Senior Assistant County Attorney.
When you need the services of an outstanding an outstanding defense team, make attorneys William H. Sherman and Valerie W. Sherman your first choice!