Have you ever heard about the driver who was arrested for drunk driving because he had taken cough medication? Or what about the state legislator who successfully argued that the breath spray caused a false positive on the Breathalyzer test that was administered?
Although police offers and courts generally accept the result of breathalyzer tests as proof of someone driving under the influence of alcohol, these tests often give false positive readings. These stories may sound absurd, but to the individuals wrongfully arrested for drunk driving, these incidents are no laughing matter.
Betrayed By Your Body
In 2015, a New York judge dismissed a DUI charge against a woman based on false DUI readings resulting from a rare medical condition, caused auto-brewery syndrome. The woman was initially pulled over for driving with a flat tire. The police arrested her when a breathalyzer test revealed that she had almost four times the legal limit of .08 percent alcohol in her blood. Such a high blood alcohol content (BAC) level is considered life threatening, so the police rushed her to the hospital.
The police, hospital and her attorney were puzzled by the fact that the woman showed no symptoms of being under the influence. Furthermore, she claimed that she had consumed only four alcoholic beverages over a six-hour period – not enough to leave her so intoxicated. Detailed investigation by the woman’s DUI defense attorney uncovered that the woman was suffering from auto-brewery syndrome, which causes the body to actually manufacture its own alcohol. Individuals suffering from this condition have abnormal amounts of gastrointestinal yeast that convert the carbohydrates they eat into ethanol.
The criminal defense attorney’s investigation resulted in the dismissal of the DUI charges. The woman is now on a no sugar, no alcohol and limited carbs diet, according to CNN. The bottom line is that without the help of an aggressive attorney, the woman could have faced a harsh consequence.
Overzealous Law Enforcement
In December 2016, Houston media reported that a woman was arrested for drunk driving and spent three days in jail. The defendant later claimed that the problem was not that she was under the influence of alcohol, but that she was having an episode of multiple sclerosis (MS). The woman, Christie Lietzau, was driving when she had an episode of MS, resulting in slurred speech and instability. Her daughter, who was in the car with her, called 911. Upon responding to the scene, the police told the daughter that her mother was not ill, but rather intoxicated. No BAC filed test was administered.
The officers drew the woman’s blood, which revealed that she was under the influence of prescription medicine. Lietzau admits that she takes medication to control her MS, but says it doesn’t affect her driving ability. Although prescription medicines may cause people to drive erratically, some law enforcement are simply taking this too far by falsely arresting innocent drivers for DUI.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone that you care about has been arrested or charged with a crime, it is imperative that you immediately hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to help protect your legal rights and ensure that you have the best defense possible to avoid a criminal conviction.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Central Valley criminal defense attorney Gurjit Srai, please call us at (209) 323-5558 or (559) 314-2796, or complete our online form.