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Appearing Intoxicated And The Complexity Of DUI/DWI Cases


Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) are serious offenses, in part because intoxicated drivers not only put themselves at risk but endanger the lives of others on Maryland roadways. As a result, a DUI/DWI convocation in Baltimore can lead to hefty fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment. But it is also important to note that not every driver who appears intoxicated is necessarily under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Several factors can contribute to seemingly impaired behavior. If you are facing a drunk driving charge and believe another factor led to your arrest, talk to a skilled Baltimore DUI & DWI lawyer about protecting yourself from harsh penalties.

Medical Conditions, Prescriptions, and Fatigue

There are medical conditions that can cause symptoms similar to those exhibited due to intoxication, leading to confusion for both the individual and law enforcement. For instance, neurological disorders like epilepsy, migraines, or even concussions may affect motor skills, balance, and speech. Additionally, conditions like diabetes or hypoglycemia can result in confusion, dizziness, and slurred speech, which could be mistaken for intoxication.

Prescription medications can lead to impairment as well. Some prescription drugs, particularly those prescribed for pain, anxiety, or sleep disorders, can cause drowsiness, blurred vision, and reduced reaction times. Drivers need to be aware of the side effects and adjust their behaviors accordingly (such as not getting behind the wheel of a vehicle), but if a person was not informed by their physician or pharmacist, they may have been unaware of the drug effects.

It is also true that fatigue is a common issue among drivers, especially those who have long commutes or work irregular hours. Lack of sleep can negatively impact one’s ability to concentrate, react quickly, and maintain proper lane control. Weaving between lanes and delayed reactions are indicators of intoxication and also happen when a person is fatigued.

Allergies, Illnesses, and Nervousness

Seasonal allergies, the common cold, or the flu can lead to symptoms like watery eyes, runny noses, and dizziness. These symptoms can make a person visually appear impaired and may impact a driver’s ability to focus on the road and adhere to traffic laws. While these individuals may not be intentionally driving under the influence, their behavior could be mistaken for drunkenness.

There is also the reality that being pulled over is an anxiety-inducing experience for most people. If a driver is incredibly nervous, they may have shaky hands and even difficulty speaking clearly. This nervousness can be misconstrued as intoxication, and when this happens the misunderstanding further escalates the situation.

While driving under the influence is undoubtedly dangerous, it is essential to consider that not every impaired-appearing driver is intentionally breaking the law. If your situation involves medical conditions, prescription medications, fatigue, allergies, or anxiety, speak to Baltimore DUI & DWI lawyers about building your defense.

Do you know someone facing DUI/DWI charges in Baltimore? If so, consult with the attorneys at Iamele & Iamele, LLP. Legal professionals understand the intricacies of cases and can help differentiate between actual intoxication and other reasons for appearing impaired. Contact us to book your fee-free appointment.

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