Before a police officer can arrest you for driving under the influence, they must have probable cause. Probable cause is a reason to believe that you were driving while intoxicated. Unfortunately, some health conditions may make an officer think you are intoxicated even if you are sober. Here are four examples of such health conditions:

Knee Injury

A common field sobriety test involves instructing the driver to stand on one leg or walk in a straight line. The test is based on the premise that intoxication interferes with your sense of balance, so you wouldn't be able to complete the test if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, it will be difficult for you to walk in a straight line or stand on one leg if you have a knee injury. Indeed, anything that interferes with your balance, such as being overweight or having back pain, will also lead to false suspicions of intoxication.

Neurological Disorders

Intoxication also interferes with speech, so it's understandable that officers use slurred speech as a probable cause for driving under the influence. Unfortunately, slurred speech is also a symptom of neurological disorders such as stroke or facial paralysis. So you may be dealing with the aftereffects of your stroke while the officer thinks you can't speak in a normal voice because you are drunk.


Apart from field sobriety tests, the officers may also use your appearance to show probable cause for impairment. For example, its general knowledge that many people get red eyes when intoxicated. However, bloodshot eyes aren't a guarantee of intoxication; it can be caused by various health conditions such as allergies and various forms of eye conditions.


Lastly, you should also be aware of the prospect of false suspicions of DUI if you are obese and on a very low calorie diet (VLCD). This is because VLCD leads to increased acetone levels in the blood. Acetone is also water soluble and is, therefore, expelled in your breath. Unfortunately, the breathalyzer will detect the dissolved acetone as alcohol, and the officer handling your case will think you are drunk.

It's clear that you may be arrested for DUI even if you weren't actually intoxicated while driving. The problem gets even more complicated if you taste a little alcohol (not enough to make you drunk) and then fail a sobriety test because of illness, and not the alcohol. Only an experienced criminal defense attorney can extricate you from such a legal mess.