with Ingenuity and Integrity
for Over 30 Years
When you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, or operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI), any medical condition that you may have could play a factor in how the situation plays out, whether you are charged, and the defenses that you can assert in your favor. It is critical to understand whether there has been a misunderstanding in your situation, and a seasoned Cleveland DUI lawyer can assist you with that process. Our diligent team of legal professionals has handled cases on behalf of clients throughout Akron and other areas of Cuyahoga County. We know how stressful this situation can get, especially if you are facing a license suspension that will impact your ability to drive and take care of your daily responsibilities. We are ready to assist DUI / OVI defendants with medical conditions by reviewing the facts of each case and putting forth an appropriate defense.Medical Conditions in Drunk Driving Cases
There are many medical conditions that can impact your drunk driving case. In order for an officer to arrest you for drunk driving, they need to have probable cause to conclude that you are intoxicated behind the wheel. This usually involves performing a field sobriety test and collecting a breath or urine sample to measure your blood alcohol content. The field sobriety test is designed to assess your vision, speech, and ability to perform certain movements. Highly intoxicated persons often cannot perform these tests with the same ease and repetition as sober individuals.
If you are a DUI / OVI defendant with a medical condition, however, you may be unable to pass these tests even if you are sober. Police officers may not always believe you that you have a medical condition and may think you are trying to trick them into letting you off the hook. A classic medical condition that can impact a field sobriety test is hypoglycemia. This condition involves a drop in blood sugar levels and often impacts people with diabetes. It can lead to slurred speech, unsteadiness, and disorientation for the individual – common signs that someone is intoxicated.
Inner ear problems can also impact someone’s balance, which would be a difficult issue for the portion of the field sobriety test that requires the suspect to stand on one leg and to walk in a straight line before turning around. If someone has a seizure disorder and suffers a seizure while driving or is about to suffer a seizure, he or she may also exhibit signs of slurred speech, unsteadiness, disorientation, and even aggression. If you have suffered a concussion or struggle with a traumatic brain injury, you could also appear to be intoxicated during a field sobriety test.
Some over the counter drugs may also lead to dizziness and slurred speech, even if the drugs do not come with a warning against operating motor vehicles while taking them. Prescriptions for certain conditions also fall within this category.Defenses Related to Medical Conditions
If you are a DUI / OVI defendant with a medical condition, the good news is that there are ways to establish that you were not intoxicated at the time of your arrest by providing evidence of your medical records or information from a healthcare provider. The prosecution does not always have your best interests in mind and may be difficult to work with in this regard, which is where a knowledgeable drunk driving attorney can help. In some situations, you may be required to testify about your medical condition and the symptoms that you were experiencing at the time of the arrest or police encounter. This can be a daunting and intimidating process, but legal counsel can help you through every step of the process and ensure that you are prepared to put your case forward.Retain a Diligent Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer in Cleveland
Drunk driving charges in Cleveland are incredibly stressful, especially if you weren’t even intoxicated when you were arrested and it was all based on a misunderstanding. While you are coping with the stress and inconvenience that this situation has created, an attorney at our firm can handle key aspects of your case such as gathering evidence, negotiating with the prosecuting attorney, and ensuring that your rights are protected and respected throughout every step of the legal matter. Our team has assisted individuals throughout Bedford, Berea, Parma, Rocky River, Garfield Heights, Stow, and Barberton. Call us today at 216-520-5297 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.