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3 medical issues that can affect DUI cases in Kentucky

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | DUI Defense |

It is quite common for those arrested for drunk driving in Kentucky to plead guilty. Motorists accused of driving under the influence (DUI) infractions often rush to the conclusion that chemical test results, field sobriety test results or an officer’s testimony are enough to ensure their conviction.

Even those who know they didn’t have too much to drink before driving may plead guilty because they fear going to court. However, there are numerous ways to defend against DUI charges, ranging from questioning why an officer conducted a traffic stop to providing medical evidence that can exonerate the defendant. There are multiple different health issues that could potentially affect the outcome of a DUI case, including the following.

Blood sugar challenges

People with undiagnosed or unmanaged diabetes might experience ketoacidosis. When the body burns fat, it produces acetone as a by-product of that process. People usually excrete acetone by exhaling it. Therefore, both those with blood sugar issues and those following a keto diet could potentially fail a breath test despite having had nothing to drink whatsoever.


Asthma is a health issue that sometimes resolves in adolescence or teen years. Some people grow out of their asthma, while others may develop adult-onset asthma symptoms later in life. Adults with asthma could potentially fail a breath test if they use an inhaler shortly before a traffic stop occurs. Chemical compounds in some of the most common prescription inhalers can lead to false positives on breath tests.

Mental health challenges

Individuals who struggle with anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions may act anxious when they have to interact with law enforcement. Someone’s nervous reaction during a traffic stop could compromise their performance on a field sobriety test or make them look guilty to a police officer.

Sometimes, people with medical challenges try to explain their situation to an officer during a traffic stop or after a crash. However, an officer might choose to arrest someone, forcing them to prove the underlying medical issues in criminal court. Exploring medical explanations is one possible response to a Kentucky DUI charge. Drivers who understand what can affect the accuracy of testing may help people to feel more confident about their decision to plead not guilty.