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I was suffering from hypoglycemia when I was arrested for DUI in Nevada. Can I use this to fight the charges?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Sep 13, 2016 | 0 Comments

Hypoglycemia--the physical condition that results when your blood sugar is too low--is definitely relevant to a DUI defense.

First of all, hypoglycemia is a common occurrence in people who have diabetes--and diabetes is a common medical defense to DUI charges.

Diabetes can lead to the physical condition known as ketosis, which can result in a "false positive" on a DUI breath test. In its most severe form (diabetic ketoacidosis), ketosis can be life-threatening and can create symptoms that look a lot like intoxication--even in a person who has not had anything to drink.

Even if you have not been diagnosed with diabetes, frequent hypoglycemia may mean that you have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Exploring this possibility should be an important part of your DUI defense strategy.

Second, even if you do not have diabetes, hypoglycemia may still help you fight your DUI charges. This is because the symptoms of hypoglycemia are very similar to those of drunkenness. They include:

  • Sweating;
  • Clumsiness or jerky movements;
  • Slurred speech;
  • Drowsiness; and
  • Confusion.

It's very easy for a law enforcement officer to mistake the symptoms of hypoglycemia for those of being under the influence. And the officer's perception of you as intoxicated may be key to the case against you for Nevada charges of drunk driving

The bottom line is this: if you think you were suffering from hypoglycemia when you were pulled over, you should discuss this with your DUI defense attorney so s/he can explore whether it can help you fight your DUI charges. (See our related article, "Should I take a breath- or blood-test if pulled over for DUI in Nevada?")

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.

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