DUI/DWI and Diabetes Defense

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There is a motor vehicle accident and police respond to the scene. The driver exhibits a number of signs indicating impairment, including staggering, slurred speech, disturbance of orientation, drowsiness, disordered thoughts, and shock. The driver is arrested and submits to a breath test, with results reported in excess of the legal limit.

Was the driver actually violating the DWI statute? Was he or she driving while impaired due to the consumption of alcohol or drugs? Not necessarily, because this driver was a diabetic.

The symptoms displayed by diabetics in the states of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can be remarkably similar to symptoms caused by excess alcohol consumption. This can, and certainly has, resulted in erroneous conclusions by law enforcement officers on the road, followed by unfair criminal charges.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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