Did you know that chronic health conditions can skew the results of a field sobriety test? One second you are driving down the road and the next you are trying to walk in a straight line or blow into a machine. You know you are sober, but the results are saying otherwise. Now what?
Understanding auto-brewery syndrome
While those with diabetes could fail a roadside breath test due to higher levels of acetone in their bodies, and people with balance issues can struggle to walk a straight line, there are also more uncommon conditions that can affect how well someone will perform a field sobriety or breath test.
Auto-brewery syndrome is a rare condition where someone is intoxicated after consuming carbohydrates and sugars. Those with the condition need to change their diet, take medication to keep their bodies in balance, and take supplements to prevent malnutrition.
Symptoms of the syndrome include:
- Concentration and memory problems
- Faulty thought processes
- Persistent cough
- Aches and pains
- Stomach pain
These symptoms certainly don't sound like fun. The small number of people who suffer from this condition also endure criticism and judgment from people who don't understand that they do not have a drinking problem, but that their bodies are literally turning certain foods into alcohol.
With so many foods containing wheat and sugar these days, it is more than possible for someone with auto-brewery syndrome to accidentally eat something that puts alcohol on their breath. This -- combined with symptoms that mimic intoxication in some ways -- could lead to a drunk driving arrest.
When a health condition leads to an arrest
It is not just those with auto-brewery syndrome who need to be careful. As mentioned, those with diabetes can fail a breath test. There are also plenty of known health conditions that cause balance issues, such as vertigo and migraines.
In situations where an underlying health condition leads to a DUI arrest, it is very important to contact an attorney. Unfortunately, there are people who will lie about a condition to try and get out of a charge, but an attorney can help you with getting the proper medical documentation to try to prove your case.