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Medical/Health Impacts on Field Sobriety Tests & Breathalyzers

Interviewer: What’s the thing that clients should disclose to you? For instance, if I’m meeting with you and I say, “I’ve done the field sobriety tests. I didn’t feel comfortable doing it. I don’t know how I did because I didn’t get the results, but I will tell you I’ve got a messed up knee.” What other things should a client tell you? What are some other examples of maybe some medical conditions or illness that may help their case?

Adam Hunt: A lot of times if they’ve had recent surgery even on other parts of their body, it could impact how they’re moving, their sense of balance, whether they were sick. If they were just getting over the flu, they might have been a little lightheaded. Maybe they’d given blood recently. There are a lot of things that could play into how a person feels that they don’t understand probably impacted how they performed.

Interviewer: Wow. For Breathalyzers, what if someone has acid reflux? Would that help out their case?

Adam Hunt: That could potentially come into play. It’s the same thing as far as the tongue piercing. If there were some type of acid reflux, it could have brought alcohol up into their mouths, which would interfere with the Breathalyzer. The same goes for the absorption rate with the tongue ring and an open wound. The absorption rate of alcohol varies from individual to individual so, yeah, that could actually come into play when they’re taking the test and give false reading on it.

Case Resolutions

Interviewer: Wow. Now how often do you think with cases like this you’re able to get cases reduced or even dismissed? Is it a difficult thing or is it just one of those things that’s a case-by-case thing?

Adam Hunt: It’s going to be case-by-case depending on what the facts are, what court they’re in, who the officer was, what legal issues we have, what their prior history was, if they have a criminal history, if they have a history of OVIs. It’s going to depend on a lot of things.

By: Adam Hunt

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