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  • Writer's pictureAttorney Joseph Soler

Have you been charged with DUI and suffer from medical or mental health conditions?

If you have been charged with DUI, be sure to tell your criminal defense attorney if you currently suffer, or have suffered in the past, from any medical or mental health conditions. Certain conditions can definitely have an impact on your ability to successfully or adequately perform field sobriety exercises (FST's) and other DUI related tests.

The DUI attorneys at our law firm have seen countless videos where, prior to requesting a person to perform FST's, the police officer did not ask the person if they suffer, or have suffered, from any medical conditions. The officer then notated all of the various ways that the person swayed or stumbled through the FST's and then arrested the person, took him or her to jail, and charged him or her with DUI. It later came out through discussions with these people that they suffered from medical and or mental health conditions that can majorly affect performance on roadside FST's.

Obviously, if the accused person has suffered or is currently suffering from a condition affecting the back or legs this can affect the performance on the FST's, as their gait may be affected. There are other conditions that can also affect performance. For instance, "nystagmus" is the test where an officer will hold a pen or light in front of a person's face and waive it back and forth. This is allegedly to observe the jerking of the eyes. A tremendous amount of natural—and perfectly legal—chemicals and conditions can cause nystagmus.

Regarding the breath test machine, it is commonly known that if a person has diabetes or hypoglycemia, this can affect the validity of a breath test and cause false blood alcohol content readings. Heart burn and acid reflux can also cause false readings. Even a low carbohydrate diet can affect the validity of the breath test machine.

The criminal defense and DUI attorneys at Soler & Simon have both prosecuted and defended hundreds of people charged with DUI. Please call us with any questions that you may have and to schedule a free case evaluation.

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