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Which medical conditions make you look drunk?

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2021 | Drunk Driving

Did you know that there are medical conditions that may make you appear intoxicated? If you are driving when these conditions cause symptoms, then you could be pulled over and accused of driving while drunk or high. 

Some of the common conditions that may make you appear intoxicated include:

  • Diabetes
  • Brain injuries
  • Epilepsy

Here is what you should know about these conditions and how they can be mistaken for intoxication.


Diabetes can lead to unusual behavior that makes you appear intoxicated if your blood sugar is too high or too low. When the blood sugar is high, your breath may smell like acetone. You may also be confused or feel nauseated. These symptoms may mimic intoxication but really point to a medical emergency.

Brain injuries

Brain injuries may change the way you move or speak. Your speech may be slurred or you may have trouble with your balance. These symptoms may mimic intoxication — especially if an officer is unfamiliar with the signs of traumatic brian injuries. 


Symptoms of epilepsy may include dizziness, poor balance, sweating, slurred words or an inability to answer questions and many other symptoms that mimic alcohol or drug intoxication. 

What should you do if you have a medical condition that mimics intoxication?

It’s necessary for you to know if you have these conditions and to take steps to make others aware of the symptoms so that you can get help in a medical emergency. Wearing a medical alert bracelet, for example, may help if a police officer pulls you over because they think that you’re impaired. If they see the bracelet, then they may realize that they need to call for help — not get out the handcuffs. You can also talk to your doctor about treatments to help keep your medical condition controlled. 

If you do end up arrested due to a drunk driving charge, make sure you assert your right to an experienced defense.


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