After a person is arrested for a DUI, they can receive medical attention when it is necessary to do so. These circumstances typically include scenarios in which drivers have been in car accidents. Also, if a driver had a medical emergency that leads to erratic driving behavior drawing a law enforcement officer’s attention. If a person reports to the officer that they are in need of medical assistance for whatever reason, the officer should request an ambulance to come to the scene to address their health concerns.
To learn more about medical attention following a McLean DUI, reach out to an accomplished DUI lawyer.
It is crucial for defense attorneys to know if a person does not receive medical attention following a McLean DUI when they should have. This is primarily due to the fact that the person’s health could have impacted field sobriety tests.
These tests are designed to determine if a person is impaired by alcohol or drugs. It involves both physical and mental components. For example, one of these tests is called the one-leg stand test. During this test, the individual is instructed to select one foot to raise approximately six inches from the ground while keeping one’s hands at one’s side and counting aloud.
Suppose an individual injured their legs in a car accident. Due to this, their ability to conduct the test while maintaining balance would very likely be impacted. If this is not taken into consideration, what could appear as failing the test due to intoxication could actually be a result of an injury. It is important that an attorney knows about this if this is the case.
A police officer often determines if a person needs medical attention by asking the individual if they need such assistance. However, if it appears that a person may be in need of medical assistance due to there being some type of accident, an ambulance will likely be dispatched to the scene along with police in case EMT services are needed. And certainly, if an individual is unconscious or otherwise unresponsive, medical services would be requested to the scene to assist. In some emergency situations, law enforcement may also be tasked with transporting persons to hospitals to receive medical attention after a McLean DUI.
A defense attorney can use the fact that an individual did not receive medical care as a defense particularly when it comes to their performance on field sobriety tests. Suppose an arresting officer did not observe any of the person’s driving behavior and for whatever reason the officer did not obtain a blood or breath test within the statutory guidelines to determine the level of drugs or alcohol in the person’s system.
However, the individual voluntarily completed field sobriety tests at the officer’s request upon the officer’s arrival on the scene despite being in need of medical assistance. If a person fails these tests due to the need for medical assistance, this can be used to build a defense. In cases like these, the Commonwealth would rely more so on the defendant’s performance on the field sobriety tests to prove that they were impaired. But, again, if this perceived failure is based on some medical issue, this can be used to build a defense to the allegation that the person was intoxicated.
Whether a defendant’s case can be helped or hurt by receiving medical attention will depend upon the facts of their case. If a person is transported to a hospital and their blood is drawn which reveals the presence of alcohol, this could be damaging to their case. However, if an individual’s blood is drawn and it is determined that they did not have drugs or alcohol in their system, this could prove helpful to the case. It could also be helpful if the cause of the person’s apparent impairment is determined to be non-drug or alcohol-related.
A person can refuse medical care after a DUI in McLean. As long as there are of sound mind and capable of making an informed decision, they are typically able to refuse medical attention even if law enforcement or medical staff deem it necessary. Contrarily, if a person is unable to decide on whether to receive medical attention in emergency situations due to being unconscious or otherwise unable to respond, medical professionals may provide medical attention even if the person may have refused such attention if conscious.
However, if an individual is in need of medical care, they should seek such attention.
Once a person receives medical attention following a McLean DUI, they should contact a lawyer for several reasons. For one, an attorney will know what the Commonwealth needs to prove for a conviction. Another reason to work with a local attorney is that that attorney can help the person obtain any necessary medical records and work with an expert to explain those records to a judge or jury. This can be used to refute allegations that a defendant’s observed behavior was alcohol or drug-related.
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