I got sick when I was stopped for DUI

Question: I actually threw-up when I got pulled over for a DUI in Cobb County. I got out of my car and I was doing the field sobriety tests and I vomited. It was right in front of the cop. Believe me, he didn't miss it. The thing is, I wasn't really that drunk. Yes, I'd been drinking. But I didn't drink that much, certainly not enough to throw up.

I was out for pizza in Marietta with some friends and I did drink a few beers at diner and I had a few before going out, but nothing that would make me vomit. So I'm not sure why I vomited. I think it could be from a number of things, but I don't know exactly what happened to me.

I didn't take the breath test. I was scared and refused to do anything. Maybe I should have taken the test. Maybe I would have been under the limit, but I don't know.

Since I puked I know that looks pretty bad. Before I got sick I think I was doing well on the field tests.

How bad is it that I vomited? Have you had clients that you've helped that got sick?

K.O. in Marietta, GA

Answer: We have had clients who got sick when pulled over by a police officer. Of course, it never looks good to vomit in front of a cop, particularly if the officer suspects you of DUI. Getting sick, as you know, can be an effect of ingesting too much alcohol.

However, we have helped clients minimize the effects of getting sick. Sometimes, under the right circumstances, it can actually be explained away. We explain to the prosecutor that many things can cause nausea and vomiting.

Here is a partial listing of some things that can cause vomiting:

  • Food poisoning
  • Motion sickness or seasickness
  • Concussion or brain injury
  • Early stages of pregnancy
  • Intense pain
  • Emotional stress (such as fear)
  • Overeating
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Some forms of cancer
  • Infections (such as the "stomach flu")
  • A reaction to certain smells or odors
  • Heart attack
  • Brain tumor
  • Ulcers
  • Bulimia or other psychological illnesses

We have handled cases for clients suffering from some of these maladies. If we can provide a doctor's note stating that the client's sickness was caused by a recognizable illness, that can help a client charged with DUI to explain why he or she became sick.

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