Although a driver might seem drunk or out of control, it's important to remember that not everything is as it seems. Many people look like they're intoxicated when they're actually suffering from a medical emergency or condition.
While individuals with a medical history of diseases or disabilities are usually cautious, there's always a chance that someone could end up causing an accident because of an unexpected episode. Here are three possible causes for individuals to appear drunk when they're really not.
Ataxia is a condition that affects a person's ability to talk, walk and use his or her fine motor skills. This neurological disease is degenerative, so what might be easy for someone to do one day may become harder as time passes.
Ataxia mimics being drunk. It can cause slurred speech, stumbling and lead to problems with coordination. Ataxia may also cause gait abnormalities, tremors and other symptoms.
Epilepsy has many symptoms, some of which may be absence seizures or tremors. Individuals who suffer from epilepsy may not realize they've had a seizure and present with disorientation, trouble walking and confusion.
When a diabetic has high or low blood sugar, there's a potential for the appearance of being drunk. With low blood sugar, individuals may shake, feel dizzy, be tired, have sudden mood swings or be unable to think clearly. This is a potentially life-threatening condition that can lead to seizures and comas or death.
Each of these medical conditions can lead individuals to appear drunk when they're not. If they're accused of being drunk, they may be able to defend themselves by showing their medical condition has a diagnosis. If someone doesn't yet have a diagnosis for a medical condition, testing for one before a trial could be a good idea.