California’s DUI laws can be complex and confusing. In this section, our attorneys break down the rules and explain the process.
DUI » Could a "hiatal hernia" lead to me failing my breathalyzer test?
A “hiatal hernia” is a condition in which a piece of your stomach pushes up into your chest. No one knows what causes it, but it is more common in women, people over 50, and people who are overweight.
The connection between a hiatal hernia and DUI is not readily apparent–but, in fact, there is a connection.
A hiatal hernia can cause your stomach contents to move up into your esophagus. This in turn can cause acid reflux/heartburn–and, when severe enough, can create the condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
And acid reflux or GERD can most definitely lead innocent people to be charged with DUI because they fail a DUI breath test.
What happens is this: a DUI breath test is supposed to measure the alcohol concentration of air from deep in your lungs, because that is the air that accurately reflects your blood alcohol content (BAC). But with GERD and/or a hiatal hernia, alcohol that is in your stomach may get pushed up into your mouth and show up on the DUI breath test, leading to an inflated BAC reading.
So if you are stopped for DUI after having a small amount to drink and score higher than you think you should have on a DUI breath test, a hiatal hernia may be the culprit.
All this is complicated by the fact that many people who have hiatal hernias are unaware that they have them. Often they lead to mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, and an X-ray is required to diagnose one.
But if you find yourself facing DUI charges despite not having had all that much to drink before being arrested, a hiatal hernia is one DUI defense option to explore.
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.
Some short-term costs of a violation of a DUI law include: three to five years of summary probation, six months to several years in county jail (depending on the specific DUI offense charged), fines and penalty assessments that can total up towards $5,000, and completion of DUI school ranging from three to nine months. Some ...
A DUI conviction will show up on a criminal background check unless it has been expunged or sealed. This means that employers, landlords, and others may learn about it. The most common type of background check is based on a person’s social security number. This is the type used by most employers and landlords. In theory, ...
It depends on the situation, but in many cases it does not matter. Miranda rights are a warning that police are legally required to recite to criminal suspects when: the suspects are in police custody, and the police are about to interrogate the suspects. The Miranda warning informs the suspects that they have the right ...
It’s many people’s worst nightmare. You’re driving after having had a drink or two–or maybe no drinks at all–and are pulled over. You honestly don’t feel “under the influence” in the slightest. But your performance on your field sobriety tests makes an officer suspicious, you are arrested for DUI—and a DUI breath test or blood test shows that you have ...