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Dehydration could lead to unfair accusations of intoxication

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2021 | DWI Defense

If you want to head out on the water for a nice day out, remember that alcohol could ruin your night if you get accused of drinking while boating. Even when you’re behind the wheel of a vessel, you are expected to be driving sober.

Someone who is impaired while boating can be accused of boating while intoxicated, but there could be other reasons for their behaviors. For example, did you know that dehydration could make someone appear intoxicated when they’re not?

How does dehydration cause a drunken appearance?

To start with, your body needs water to function properly. If you become dehydrated, then it is possible that you could begin to feel dizzy or disoriented. Mild dehydration may lead to symptoms such as:

  • Head rushes
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Headache

As the dehydration gets worse, the symptoms may increase in severity. The symptoms of moderate dehydration may include:

  • Nausea
  • Muscle cramps
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sunken eyes

Then, as the body becomes dangerously low on fluids, severe symptoms appear. These may include:

  • Impaired vision
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Muscle spasms
  • Low blood pressure

It’s possible for someone who is dehydrated to start to feel confused or disoriented from the heat and sun that they’ve faced all day on the boat. There is also a heightened risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, both of which can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of dehydration may cause impairment

If you are dehydrated, there is a chance that you could appear impaired. This is especially true if you are disoriented or feel nauseated. If you’ve had one or two alcoholic drinks on top of dehydration, then the symptoms may be more pronounced.

If you’re stopped on your boat at that point, then an officer may accuse you of intoxication when the reality is that you’re dealing with a medical emergency. If you ever find yourself in this situation, it’s worth asking the officer to take you to the hospital or to call 911 yourself and as for an ambulance. Dehydration can become life-threatening, and you may not be in any position to interact with the police about alleged impairment. An officer can get a blood test to check for alcohol at the hospital in most cases, so your health should be the priority.

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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