GERDs is a disorder related to acid reflux whereas the persons effected by it have the backward flow of the stomach’s contents into their esophagus. GERD stands for Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disorder. GERD is more than just occasionally experiencing heartburn and patients who truly suffer from the diagnosis will be treated by a physician and take medication, perhaps daily to deal with the problem. The extent of which individuals suffer from the disorder more than likely leads to surgery to address the problem. It is estimated about 7-10% of the population in the United States suffers from GERD to some extent. Drinking alcohol, smoking and eating spicy foods have been known to intensify the symptoms of GERD. The GERD defense is nothing more than a mouth-alcohol defense. The defendant will claim he or she suffers from GERD and that the blood alcohol content or BAC as measured by the Draeger (breathalyzer) was inflated and therefore not an accurate representation of their actual BAC.
They will claim that the BAC was inflated because the GERD caused alcohol from the stomach to flow up the esophagus and into the mouth creating mouth-alcohol, which furthermore causes a flawed outcome. As a result, makers of breathalyzers have upped their technology to be able to track when the test is affected by GERDs, just in case it actually is a probable chance. However, until this machine is used widely by all police personnel, there is still a possibility that a GERD can affect a BAC test.
When a GERD sufferer provides a breath sample for a DUI test, the breath provided is not just are from their lungs, just as all breath test machines assume. The air provided is actually alcohol saturated mouth alcohol; alcohol drenched esophageal air and deep lung air or alveolar air. The emission of such alcohol-saturated air is often exacerbated by stress such as being arrested and eating spicy foods. As a result, the BAC reading from someone diagnosed with GERD may be ruled meaningless, as it may not be a reading of one’s blood alcohol level at all.
Even a very small amount of alcohol in one’s throat, mouth or esophagus can have a huge impact on the machines measurements. Therefore, GERD is relevant in evaluating the reliability of a breath sample because the alveolar air sample collected from a person with GERD will have this contamination from the stomach, fostering a vastly higher concentration of alcohol than actually feasible making the BAC artificially inflated.
Continually, there is a requirement for officers to wait about 15 minutes before performing the standard field sobriety test and observing to make sure that there aren’t any extenuating circumstances. The subject must be observed for a minimum period of 15 minutes, also known as the Deprivation Period, to be certain the driver has not ingest alcoholic beverages or other fluids, regurgitated, vomited, eaten, smoked or been allowed to place anything in his or her mouth. Some say that GERDs makes it impossible for a Deprivation Period to be effective due to the subject’s inability to cut off the affects of the diagnosis.
Dolman Law Group
None of the less, the pondering of whether the GERDs is a reasonable defense depending on your health and history is something that you may consider only if you have been medically diagnosed. People who use this defense without a physician’s proof are likely to be in murky water when it comes to court. Therefore, if you or anyone you know has been in a drunk driving accident or a victim of a drunk driver, you should be ready and willing to enforce any possible remedy you may have. There’s no reason for anyone to drink and drive and there is also no reason to be held liable if you are medically diagnosed with GERDs. In either case, let the attorneys at Dolman Law Group seek the best option for you. Schedule a free consultation and evaluation to ensure the proper measures are being taken. Whether you a victim of a false GERD claim or an alleged defendant with GERD, we will stand by you. Call (727) 451-6900 today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, Florida 33765