Being involved in a traffic stop can be a stressful and intimidating experience. Should allegations of intoxication arise during this period, despite your sobriety, you could begin to feel somewhat overwhelmed by the process and uncertain where to turn for guidance.
Authorities may look for a variety of signs and behavioral patterns to indicate intoxication. However, they may also indicate the presence of a medical condition, and being unaware of how this might influence the situation could leave you suffering the consequences, regardless of your innocence.
Medical conditions mistaken for intoxication
There are several medical conditions that cause a person to appear intoxicated, such as diabetes and epilepsy, or even a brain injury. These conditions can manifest a multitude of symptoms that may lead to drunk driving allegations, such as:
- Odor of intoxication: One of the symptoms of diabetes is the smell of acetone or fruit on a person's breath, which, under the circumstances, police might assume to be the odor of an alcoholic beverage.
- Dizziness or lack of concentration: All three conditions can cause an individual to experience dizziness or a lack of focus, both of which can be present among drunk drivers.
- Signs of aggression: These conditions can also make an individual more prone to aggression, which may or may not be controllable. Police may view this as a failure to comply if they are unaware of the condition.
- Changes in mood and behavior: Your medical condition may also cause sudden and unexpected changes in your behavior, such as instantly going from happy to sad, which can appear suspicious, even if you can't control it.
- Trouble with speech and balance: Diabetes, epilepsy and brain injuries can also create difficulty with speech and balance, which could cause even the soberest of individuals to fail field sobriety tests.
These are just a few examples of the potential symptoms that could leave you facing false allegations. However, proving your innocence can still be an arduous task, and seeking guidance from someone with experience in Pennsylvania state drunk driving laws could prove invaluable.
Guidance moving forward
The penalties for a conviction for drunk driving are severe, and you probably don't want to suffer the consequences for a crime you didn't commit. However, challenging these charges can be exceedingly complex, potentially prompting a need for guidance in navigating the process. By obtaining assistance in forming a strong defense, you could become better prepared to pursue a favorable outcome during subsequent legal proceedings.