By NotDrunk - United States - San Antonio
Today, I was pulled over by a policeman. He thought I was drunk, after doing the "walk in a straight line" test and the "finger-to-nose" test. It wasn't until after I got a fine that I got it through to him that I have cerebellar ataxia, and that I wasn't drunk. FML
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By  Cassandra2015  |  21

I don't think the jab should be directed at the police officer . He or she was doing their job and ensuring that OP was not intoxicated while driving and putting others life's at risk .
It's unfortunate that you received a fine for having a medical condition, but if a road side breathalyzer was done and proper medical papers were shown , you should be good to go !

  askagimp  |  5

it's not okay to screw someone over for being disabled. People are still amazed that I can drive despite being a paraplegic. it's not my problem if
someone is ignorant of disability culture. Why is it OP's fault that the cop didn't listen?


@55- Who needs Google when one remembers everything from Psych class?

The cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls balance and coordination- so the disorder must have an effect on OP's coordination making them appear to be inebriated.

  I_Bite  |  22

#58 first off, congratulations on that huge achievement, that's awesome!

secondly, he wasn't being screwed over. what if every drunk person on the road said they had some form of disability and the police just believed them, no proof, no tests, just took their word on it? how many more deaths and accidents would there be on the road?

If OP wasn't given a breathalyzer test and could clearly prove with a medical certificate than they will be able to go to court and get it fixed.

the police are only doing their job

  kozzard  |  17

It also states that OP did NOT tell the officer until AFTER the fine had been issued. Where I live, the cops don't hand write the tickets, they are entered into the system, and the ticket prints out. If that's the case where OP lives, then there's no way for the officer to "unwrite" a ticket, if it's hand written, the officer still has to account for every ticket in his book

  AmayaR  |  12

Well it's not quite "ignorance of disability culture" seeing that it's difficult to know about every disability out there but it's more of he saw something that seems like signs of drunkenness and he went after OP because he was doing his job

By  PCRob  |  5

If your driving skill have deteriorated due to CA to the point that you're getting pulled over, and your coordination is such that you can't pass a field sobriety test, then most likely you shouldn't be driving at all any more. Maybe he cited you for impaired driving instead of drunk driving? Either way, it's time to hang up the keys for good, dude.

  jpsullivan  |  36

As a disabled person, their comment was not ableist. You are driving a several tonne death machine on wheels. If you are not 100% able to drive clearly, then you should not be on the road. I can't drive now, nor will I ever probably be able to. This isn't about limiting what people can and can't do, it's about the safety of not only yourself, but the people around you as well. You share the road, and if this is impairing you enough to the point where they can't tell you apart from someone who's been drinking, it's time to throw in the towel. There are other modes of transportation that won't kill people if your disability is giving you an bad day.

  SeanLewis  |  17

Some of them don't cause they think it's too dangerous. They need a lot of focus. But some are left with no choice since their car is a neccessity. For those who really need to use a private vehicle but don't feel very safe, I know some of them install converted hand controls, which makes it easier for them.

  aj2711  |  10

If you have a disability that may affect your driving you have to have a doctor submit a form that your condition is well controlled enough for you to drive.

  missambitious  |  21

I have Menieres disease which affects my hearing and balance and my doctor has cleared me to drive. I'm just not supposed to drive when I'm having a vertigo attack, but who would want to then?


Exactly. I have Muscular Dystrophy but I can drive. I have a minivan that I drive while sitting in my electric wheelchair. For a seatbelt, I use the lapbelt on my wheelchair, and we leave the van's seatbelt buckled all the time, and I just pull in to it for the shoulder strap. There's a mechanism that my chair locks into to lock it in place. All the driving mechanisms are re-done for me to drive. I went thru lots of extensive testing and evaluation to see what I could handle and what needed to be done. It is all made to compensate for my weaknesses and to capitalize on my strengths. My steering wheel lays down flat, like a record player, is 7 inches in diameter, and has a knob on it that i hold, and the wheel is very easy to turn. Basically, if I start to have a sneezing fit - I have to pull over! lol I turn the wheel with one hand. With the other hand, I control the gas and brake. They are levers that I pull toward me to use. The gas is one lever and the brake the other. They are easily done with one finger, so I use my index finger for the gas and keep my middle finger on the brake for those times you can't just ease off the gas on to the brake. I have buttons for blinkers, gear shifts, ignition on/off, horn, headlights, wipers, etc. It's pretty spectacular!

  eski2015  |  22

Uh just FYI "Cerebellar ataxia can occur as a result of many diseases and presents with symptoms of an inability to coordinate balance, gait, extremity and eye movements" ik ik it's from Wikipedia but look it says balance and eye movements

  noonenoeone  |  22

Breathalyzer is far from concrete proof and if they used that as the sole proof of a DUI we would have a ton of wrongfully convicted DUI offenders. It takes a series of field sobriety tests to deem one too impaired too drive.

  orangeshels  |  19

In Australia it isn't the only thing used. If you test positive on a breathalyzer you are then taken to get a blood test. Sobriety tests aren't used at all, and I've never once heard of anyone being wrongly convicted of a DUI here.

  lurker_no_more  |  13

same thing in Sweden, breathalyzer test then blood test.. No kind of weird "field sobriety" testing done.. then again we have 0.0 promille alcohol limit so you can't have drunken anything at all to drive.

  lexwilder  |  16

Same here, just because you can't walk in a straight line doesn't mean you're drunk(some people are just that uncoordinated), and there's no way an officer here would try and use that as evidence. It'd be thrown out.

  josh09_fml  |  4

A PBT only detects the ionization of alcohol in your breath.. you can be under the influence or impaired by thousands of other substances, and conditions.

FSTs test your proprioception.. PBTs don't.

By  writerchic85  |  25

Who gets fines for being drunk? Thought they usually take you in for that. Unless the fine was for reckless driving or something. In which case it's your own fault even if you were not drunk.

  dbt88  |  15

In Wisconsin anyway (I know this is Texas), first offense OWI is a monetary penalty as opposed to jail time provided it is under a certain BAC level (I want to say .15?)... No clue on Texas though. I thought everywhere else in the US made jail time mandatory for first offense.