Diabetes and DUI Defense

According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 50,000 people are diagnosed with both type 1 and type 2 Diabetes in Michigan every year. As a result, they are prescribed blood thinners for conditions such as a heart attack, high blood sugar levels, stroke, blood clots, and more. Most people don’t know diabetes can be a DUI defense.

While many people recognize the impact diabetes on health, there are similar concerns when it comes to legal consequences. Unfortunately, many people do not understand the legal implications of their conditions until it’s too late. If you have been charged with a DUI and have one of the conditions listed above, you may have a solid defense on your hands.

What is Implied Consent?

By driving on a public road in Michigan, you automatically consent to a chemical test when asked by a police officer. The Secretary of State refers to this as the Implied Consent” law. This means that if you’re arrested for a DUI, you must provide an officer with a breath or blood sample.

This is used to determine whether you have alcohol or drugs in your system. The test result will be used against you in your criminal case.

If you declined this test, the officer then drafted a warrant to take a sample of your blood. Just by refusing, your license is then suspended for one year and six points are then added to your driving record.

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Implied Consent DOES NOT Apply to Everyone

The Implied Consent law applies to just about everyone. However, there is a small section of Michigan residents that aren’t subject to the harsh penalties. The law states explicitly that:

“A person afflicted with hemophilia, diabetes, or a condition requiring the use of an anticoagulant shall not be considered to have given consent to the withdrawal of blood.”

As you can see, this sentence makes little to no sense. I’ve had judges tell me that they can’t grasp what this exception is supposed to mean. Even worse, experienced police officers have admitted to me that they don’t know how to handle these cases.

Regardless, this exception basically means that you can’t be threatened with the penalty for not taking the test if you have an applicable conviction. Instead, under law, you are allowed to simply tell the officer “no.”

This forces the officer to get a warrant for your blood. Your criminal defense attorney should then challenge the basis for the warrant (ex. lack of probable cause). A skilled DUI defense attorney could even argue that the slurred speech at the time of the arrest was a result of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels).

Therefore, the “alcohol impairment” noted on the breath testing device wouldn’t prove you were drunk beyond a reasonable doubt.

Using Diabetes as a DUI Defense

All too often, the officer asks about your medical conditions after you have already consented. This may have happened during your arrest. You shouldn’t be penalized for the arresting officer’s failure to know the law.

If you were arrested for a DUI and have diabetes/diabetic ketoacidosis, you need an DUI attorney that knows the Implied Consent law inside and out. They should listen to your story and follow up on possible issues with the arrest.

What may not seem important to you at the time could very well result in an unfair outcome for your case. That is exactly why you need a skilled DUI lawyer to fight the evidence used against you in your DUI case.

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