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Could your illness make you seem intoxicated to the police?

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2021 | Drunk Driving

When you take medications, there are certain precautions you can take to be safer behind the wheel. Illnesses, however, can be challenging to predict and control.

In some cases, the same symptoms that tell you that you are sick could be the same ones that could make a police officer think you have had too much to drink.

Here’s what you should know about some of the illnesses that could make you seem like you have had too much to drink.


While allergies are not an illness, having seasonal or environmental allergies is a condition that leaves you with minimal options for remedies. Depending on your body’s response to allergens, an officer could mistake your allergy symptoms for signs you were drinking, such as:

  • Red and watery eyes
  • Flushed cheeks
  • Fatigue

Allergy attacks are not always predictable, so you could find yourself with allergy symptoms that could be mistaken for being intoxicated.

Auto brewery syndrome

A rare disease that can make you drunk without drinking is auto-brewery syndrome. With this disease, exposure to certain types of yeast can trigger a reaction in the body that makes alcohol out of digested carbs. Since this process can happen in your intestines, you can still absorb the alcohol into your bloodstream, creating the same symptoms as someone who has consumed alcohol.

In many cases, auto-brewery syndrome is set off by other conditions like Chron’s disease. However, auto-brewery syndrome can occur in both adults and children with no prior conditions.

Several others

In addition, some other conditions and illnesses can make you seem drunk, without ever drinking, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Fatigue

In some cases, these conditions can be challenging to prove. When an officer mistakes these and other conditions as intoxication, it is essential to have the support of a knowledgeable professional who knows how to help you.


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