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Is a medical issue a good DUI defense?

There are various defense strategies that may work in order to have DUI cases dismissed or charges reduced. One defense strategy that may work in select cases involves proving a DUI resulted from a medical issue. There are those in California or elsewhere who have medical issues that may cause impaired driving behaviors. Does this mean that these drivers should be punished for something that is often beyond their control? In another state, a woman recently had her drunk driving case dismissed when she was able to prove that a medical issue was behind a Breathalyzer readout that indicated she was intoxicated.

According to a recent report, a 35-year-old woman was pulled over by police for suspected drunk driving. A Breathalyzer test was performed and the results reportedly came back as her having a blood alcohol content of .33 percent -- far above the state limit. She was arrested and charged with a DUI.

The accused later went to court with information from a specialist that claimed her body works as a brewery, basically turning any excess yeast into alcohol. This is what she says caused her to have such a high readout on the Breathalyzer test. This disease is known as auto-brewery syndrome. Approximately 50 to 100 people have received a diagnosis of this disorder, but it is believed that most people that have it are not even aware of the condition. The judge dismissed her case, although prosecuting attorneys do plan to appeal the decision.

Numerous California residents may have medical problems than can result in them being charged with DUIs. When this happens, it is possible to fight the accusations of impaired driving by seeking the help of legal and medical professionals. A criminal defense attorney can assist in fighting a medically-related DUI case by documenting and providing proof of the medical problem in court. By doing so, charges may be reduced or dropped altogether.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Woman Says Her Body Is A Brewery, Beats Drunk Driving Charge", Steven Nelson, Dec. 28, 2015

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Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results