Did you know that there are certain medical conditions that make you appear intoxicated or impaired? These conditions can include medical issues such as neurological injuries, diabetes and digestive disorders.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy for a police officer to differentiate between a medical condition and a true DWI. Since DWIs don’t require you to have alcohol in your blood (they could also be from drugs), you could end up facing an arrest when you really need to be seen by a medical professional for help managing your condition.
How can you help prevent a DWI from your medical condition?
With any medical concern that could lead to impaired driving, you need to take steps to keep the symptoms under control. For example, if you have auto-brewery syndrome, you need to avoid a carbohydrate-rich diet and should take medications, like anti-fungal drugs, on time.
If you have diabetes, you should closely monitor your blood sugars and be certain that you don’t let them get too high or low. Before you get into your vehicle to drive, you should know what your sugar levels are and be prepared to eat a snack or take insulin to balance it when necessary.
If your condition does cause impairment and you’re stopped, it’s a good idea to wear a medical alert bracelet or to carry medical information or alerts with you in another way. For example, you may have a medical alert card in your wallet or handbag. You might wear a medical alert bracelet or keep your medical devices nearby, so the officer can see them if there is an issue.
If you’re able to say so, you can also tell an officer who has stopped you that you’re having a medical emergency. They may call an ambulance to the scene, and then you’ll be able to receive medical care before going on to deal with the traffic stop and any citations or charges that may come from it.
DWI stops aren’t always straightforward
Officers should be aware that not all people who appear impaired are impaired by drugs or alcohol. With the right preparation on your side, you can help them see when you need medical assistance rather than to be arrested.