DUI: I Had Bloodshot Eyes

Bloodshot eyes

Question: I have pink eye and I was driving. I was stopped by a cop in Cobb County, near Smyrna. I said that I had a few beers. The policeman had me do some tests when I got out of the car. I think I did well on those tests. I didn't stumble or fall.

He kept asking me about my red eyes. He said they made me look drunk. He didn't believe that I only had a few light beers while watching the baseball game. I had gone to a doctor for the pink eye a day before. He gave me some medicine, so now they look a lot better.

But I looked like I'd been drinking. I looked like a drunk.

I didn't take the breath test, I refused. But the officer took blood after getting a warrant. At least that's what he told me. So now they have a blood test. I hope no pot shows up. There will be alcohol for sure.

How bad is it that my eyes were really red? Actually only my right eye was really red. The left eye wasn't too bad.

J.K. in Marietta, GA

Answer: Bloodshot eyes are a sign of consuming alcohol for some people. But if you can prove that you had seen a doctor because of pink eye and that you were taking medication for it that should help with your defense, at least as far as explaining why your eyes were so red. You need to get a note from your doctor and make a copy of the prescription.

Red eyes, while a part of some DUI prosecutions, are not, just by themselves, a huge piece of evidence for the prosecution. Red eyes or bloodshot eyes can be caused by many things, including, contact lenses, smoking, and allergies. So it's certainly not just alcohol that can have that effect; in fact, it usually isn't alcohol.

The prosecutor's case will rest, to a large extent, on the results of the blood test. Basically, if the blood test comes back high, you are in a much weakened position. However, if it comes back low, your chances of getting a reduced charge or having the DUI dropped altogether are much better.

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