Medical Condition or DUI?

Law enforcement officers are not infallible machines – they can and often do make mistakes. While officers are trained in alcohol and drug recognition, personal discretion plays a large role in situations where motorists are stopped and evaluated under suspicion of driving under the influence.

Nevada and states throughout the country enforce DUI laws that explicitly set the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit at .08%. Although this is the case, it is not always the rule. For example, officers can still arrest motorists under suspicion of DUI if:

  • They believe the driver is reasonably impaired by alcohol to the point where they present a danger to others on the road.
  • They believe a driver to be under the influence of a controlled substance or prescription medication.

In these two cases, officers can base the entirety of an arrest on their discretion. While this is certainly designed this way to keep the public safe, it also opens the door to officers being wrong and basing an arrest, potentially harmful experiences, and real costs on incorrect data.

There are a number of situations – including weather – and a number of medical conditions that could lead officers into arresting innocent people for DUI. This is often because the symptoms of these conditions may mimic intoxication Examples of the medical conditions include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Brain Injuries
  • Seizures
  • Hypothermia

As with any criminal case, arrested individuals have the right to present their side of the story and the facts that support it. Should you have a legitimate medical condition an officer misinterpreted in order to make an arrest, you have the right to present this to the court. It is important to note, however, that although you have the right to seize this opportunity, it is not guaranteed justice will be carried out – especially if you attempt to resolve the situation without representation.

To learn more about your rights after a DUI arrest or to discuss your case one-on-one with a Reno DUI attorney from Joey Gilbert Law, contact us for a free consultation.


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