Neuropathy or DUI?

Antique Car with SmileyLast week, I had a doctor’s appointment in Pittsburgh. We had the radio on and there was a commercial for one of the Pittsburgh news stations. They were advertising for an upcoming segment about the tests that they do for DUI. Apparently, some people think that those tests are designed to have people fail.

I have never been pulled over for a DUI, suspected or otherwise, and my only experience with the field sobriety tests is what I have seen on TV. Back in the early days of neuropathy, I felt like I could walk normally and I didn’t have any balance issues like I do today. However, when I would see people on TV having to walk with one foot in front of the other or stand on one leg, I used to wonder if I would be able to do that because of the neuropathy. I know that I can’t do that now, but I also don’t drive anymore because of the neuropathy so I don’t need to worry about it.

If you have neuropathy, even if it is a mild version of it, could you pass those tests? Have you thought about what to do if you get pulled over for a suspected DUI? I don’t know what the right answer is and laws vary by state. In PA, if you refuse to do the field sobriety tests, you automatically get arrested. You are going to get arrested if you flunk the tests also. Obviously, you can ask to have blood work done and that will prove you weren’t drinking, but what happens while you wait on that?

I found the report that I heard advertised and they have a video along with an article about it. You can see that here.
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4 thoughts on “Neuropathy or DUI?

  1. I have diabetes on my driver’s license for this very reason. I don’t know it would help if I were low or something were wrong, but it’s there if they check. (Which they are supposed to do.) Great post!

    • Thanks Victoria! They should check your license but some of the videos I have seen, people seem to get combative before the police get the license. Hopefully, that isn’t something you will ever have to experience!

  2. The running joke among Defense Lawyers is that you may “beat the charge,” but you can’t “beat the ride.” Every state’s DUI laws differ, but in general, you bond out, wait for court, hope that the arresting officers don’t lose your paperwork, and hope that the blood or breath test shows no alcohol. With breath tests, though, there are various diabetic conditions that can lead to false-positive readings, meaning that the machine says you’ve been drinking, even when you haven’t. This is less common with blood tests. Your final hurdle is to hope that any prescriptions you are on do not lead the officer to charge you with driving under the influence of a prescription drug. We’ve seen an increase in these charges here in Georgia, and I expect that trend is mirrored in other states as well. So, best case scenario is that your charge gets dropped after you have spent hours (or days) in jail before posting bond. Worst case scenario is false positives leading to a difficult defense for your case in general.

    • Thanks, I had a feeling there wouldn’t be a way to beat the ride! I wondered how accurate the breath tests would be with some of the problems diabetics tend to have. That is good to know that things can throw them off. I guess the best thing to do is insist on the blood test. I appreciate your taking the time to respond here – I am sure it will help some people!

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