Finding out that someone arrested for a DUI was really in the throes of something like a diabetic flare-up is becoming more common, and police officers around the country are receiving more training regarding these situations. However, it's best if you can do your part as a driver to avoid ending up in a situation where someone might think you are drunk or under the influence of drugs. Sometimes this means altering your schedule, while other times it means being careful about managing health problems.
No Alcohol Mouthwashes Before You Drive
It sounds silly, but the old issue of alcohol-based mouthwashes is real: If you are tested for DUI at a sobriety checkpoint soon after using a mouthwash that contains alcohol, you could give a false positive on a breathalyzer test. Wait at least 10 minutes between rinsing out your mouth and getting behind the wheel.
Pull Over the Minute You Feel Like Your Control Is Slipping
If you ever begin to feel odd while driving, be it from drowsiness or an unknown cause, pull over. Get off the road, and if you have no idea why you're starting to feel strange, call emergency services. You could be having a problem with diabetes, you could be having a heart attack, or you could be having another health problem that has symptoms that include disorientation.
Do Take Necessary Medications Before You Drive (With a Caveat)
If you have to take medications to control a health problem such as diabetes, and your normal time to take those occurs around the time you have to drive, take the medication before you get behind the wheel. The one exception, of course, is if the medication could make you drowsy or otherwise unable to operate a vehicle safely. But, if you know that you'll need to take medication soon, and it won't affect your driving, take the medication to prevent a flare-up of the health condition's symptoms.
Take Frequent Breaks on Long-Distance Drives
The monotony of the road can make you a bit dreamy and drowsy as you drive long distance. Plan frequent breaks if you go on a trip. With online maps that show the locations of restaurants along the routes you take, you should be able to plan which exits to look for. If you try to keep driving without a break, you could end up swerving a bit as you nod off. This sounds minor but is actually dangerous. Remember, driving while drowsy is often treated as another form of DUI.
If you're concerned that a medical or other problem might get you mistaken for a DUI case, talk to your doctor about ways to avoid the avoidable. You have to be vigilant behind the wheel, but with the right help and knowledge, you'll be safe. If you end up stopped by a police officer and arrested anyway, talk to an experienced DUI lawyer like R. Patrick McPherson Attorney At Law who can help you gather evidence that you weren't on drugs and weren't drunk.