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Epilepsy and DUI

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Old Today, 12:28 AM
Melissa Fischer Melissa Fischer is online now
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1

Epilepsy Medicine Causes a DUI


I have suffered with epilepsy for 16 years now. I recently received a DUI. I admit I did have one vodka/tonic. I know we are not supposed to drink, but my neurologist says he does not condone it, but understands I should live my life and the occasional beer, wine or cocktail should not hurt.

I am on Tegretol and had just been given an increase in mg. It was a Saturday night at 10pm and I was just going around the corner to buy something at the pharmacy. A cop pulled me over because my highbeams were on. Oops! He backed up on a major road to pull me over. He was training someone and looking for a candidate. He saw that my eyes were red because I had been crying, as my Mom (last living family member) had passed away months prior but I was having an extremely hard time with her death, as she was my best friend. Due to the redness he asked me to due a field sobriety test. The tests he gave me took 1 1/2 hours when they normally take 1/2 hour at most. In the video, I did not sway or slur my words once. He had a hard time deciding if I was passing the eye test, but I tried to explain to him I have nastagmus from the meds. I passed everything but the leg test. My knees started to shake uncontrollably. It is obvious in the video. The officer did not care. He brow beat me. Another side effect of Tegretol is uncontrollable legs, and is worse in stressful situations.

They decided to bring me in. I refused the breathalizer, as it is always being questioned of its validity. My Mom worked for lawyers here for 5 years and said people should not take it. Ironically if I had, all cases up until that week were eventually thrown out along with all DUIs dating back 2 years because they proved it did not work. I went to trial and it was a hung jury which means a mistrial as the state can retry it, which to me should be against supreme court rulings. I hired one of the lawyers my Mom worked for because he said if I ever need anything. I don't think he meant it and I have no money as I was layed off and are actively seeking unemployment.

Basically, I am hoping for a response with someone who may have been in a similar situation or a lawyer who may offer some precedence or advise.

I appreciate any response in advance.

Thank you,
Melissa L. Fischer
Sarasota, FL


Were you able to use epilpesy in your case? I was charged too and need to know if this will work as a defense!!!!

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