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Hepititus C & DUI Charge
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Hepititus C & DUI Charge

Because of my Hepititus C, I rarely drink - however; I did have three cocktails at a wake and about two hours later was pulled over and given the DUI ticket.  My blood alcohol level was .188.  Has anyone with Hep C ever gotten a DUI, and is there a difference in how our bodies expel the alcohol?  First time I've had a drink since I was diagnosed in 1999 - I don't have a problem with alcohol but have had to move into my mother's home as her primary caregiver, and had lost my job over having to make sure she was being taken care of - then the death of a close friend.... I know what I did was very wrong, but the courts and DMV are killing me. Don't need the alcohol classes and have gotten help through several caregiver support groups.  Woudl like to know if anyone out there has been trhough this?

Thanks!
18 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
Not me, I quit drinking and driving many years ago... I would think classes would be better then jail, but that's just me.... Good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
Not me either.  Take the class, possible probation and apply to get off you. record later.  Oh yes it cost regardless....ALOT.   That's why you never want to drink and drive.  They stick it to you good so you never forget.  I really don't think Hepatitis C will help you in your defense.  Good luck to you.

Welcome to the forum
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Avatar_f_tn
   Well,  if I was to drink, which I dont, then I suppose I would ride my bike to the bar~
   I am a year post Tx, and I am thinking it would be three years of my health smoothies, before I would feel like my body had healed, and that I could have a drink.  I still feel quite dehydrated, and still trying to drink my water :)
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1669790_tn?1333666195
Biking while under the influence seems safer than driving drunk since bicycles aren't two-ton hunks of steel and glass capable of reaching triple-digit speeds. The drunk bicyclist poses the greatest threat to himself or herself.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly one-third of the bicyclists killed in U.S. traffic crashes in 2008 had a blood-alcohol content of at least .01 grams per deciliter. Nearly one-fourth had BACs of at least .08 g/dL, the national legal limit. It can also land you behind bars, depending on where you do it.  Although the punishment for a CUI is less burdensome than California's DUI penalties, a CUI is still a misdemeanor  and will show up as a conviction.  Much better to take a cab or skip the drinks.
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Avatar_f_tn
  Yikes, good idea. I do live in walking distance to a place that has Margeritas, but again, after what I've been thru, I have no urge to drink!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Still looking for a bike lol
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766573_tn?1365170066
You were right to quit drinking once you were diagnosed with the virus since drinking with HCV is supposed to be dangerous. I know you did not ask this but why have you not treated? Do you know your genotype or what stage of fibrosis you are?

___________
I had a history of drinking and a few DUIs and that was over 25 years ago. They still follow me and have prevented me from certain opportunities. It is a necessary hassle to make this right so it does not follow you everywhere and drag you down. I am sorry for your loss. You must be very overwhelmed.

It varies by state (and maybe even possible prior acts) but just in general on the CO web site it says

Alcohol Courses

The court may require you to complete a series of alcohol classes as a condition of a plea bargain or a deferred sentence for an alcohol-related offense. There are also circumstances in which the court may not order you to take alcohol classes, but Colorado law will require these classes as a condition of driver license reinstatement. To find a treatment provider please visit www.colorado.gov/cdhs/dbh.
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Avatar_f_tn
I did go through treatment 12 years ago, but it didn't work.  It was very rough for me, and had to work very hard to keep from giving up, or commiting suicide. I've taken care of myself since then - and as I stated very rarely drink. Without insurance I can't afford to go through treatment again, and frankly don't want to.

Thank you all for the responses to the question I asked - I've already been through the classes, have done 49 hours of community service, and attended a MADD thing - I was just hoping there might be someone out there that knew if Hep C had been ever been considered in a DUI case.
My court date is September 16th, so I've been trying to do some research that might help. My BAC was low enough that I don't have to worry about jail time, thank goodness.

I have found a support group that helps with the major issue in my life right now - never thought it would be this hard watching my mom lose her light to alzheimers. Heartbreaking, but I just have to keep on keeping on. I'm all she has.
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163305_tn?1333672171
To put it the way a doctor explained it to my friend, drinking alcohol sends the virus into orgy mode.

If you care about your liver, stop drinking. I stopped the day I was diagnosed but my liver was already so far gone I had to have a transplant.

Now, happily with a healthy liver and hep C free, I take an occasional few sips of wine.

Personally, I don't see where having hep C makes any difference with a DUI. You need to get a designated driver who is completely sober whenever you drink, if you have the virus or not. It's not only the law but it can save lives.
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Avatar_f_tn
   So sorry about your Mom~  I have read that treating with Interferon, whether you cleared or not, may help your liver somewhat.
   There are tons of new meds coming down the pipe-line, and the ultimate goal is an Interferon Free regimen,  which it sounds like you would appreciate.
   In the mean-time, I thought people were going to be able to sign up for some kind of Obama-Care??  
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5901196_tn?1395547509
  My name is Dee. I'm pretty new to the forum, but I have a question. Are you trying to use your Hep C to get out of your DUI? If anything, I would think it would go against you. They, the prosecutors  might think/say, Why would you be drinking alcohol, with a disease that effects the liver and alcohol escalates the problem? I'm NOT judging you, I'm just trying to think of it the way a prosecutor would. Having been thru a couple back in the 80's. I'd keep the Hep C out of it due to the way it sounds - your doing something very detrimental to your health and don't care about the consequences. So why would you care about any other consequences?
  I wish you well and hope they don't stick it to you TOO awfully bad. It will be expensive.
  Again, I am not judging you. I have NO RIGHT TO JUDGE ANYONE.
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4950316_tn?1394188185
In your defence, you can get a letter from your doctor saying that you suffer from depression as a side effect of HCV, and had suicidal thoughts during failed treatment for HCV 12 years ago.
You may also add that you are the primary carer, or only family member looking after your mother who has Alzheimers.
Mention the support groups you are involved with.
I would also say that you had given up drinking when you were diagnosed with HCV, and this was a major lapse in judgement, and you are fully aware of the dangers to others through this behaviour. Not only the danger to your deteriorating health. Blah. Blah. Blah.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
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163305_tn?1333672171
Drinking Under the Influence is taken very seriously in most states and many have an absolute no tolerance stance when it comes to drinking and driving.

Lapse of judgement in drinking is one thing. Getting behind the wheel when drinking is another entirely.
The US is not Australia. Just sayin~
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Avatar_m_tn
            was your bac a typo.  a .188 is 2.3 times over the legal limit in california
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4950316_tn?1394188185
Driving under the influence is a big no no here as well.
But, our legal system does allow for you to speak in your defense if you don't have a lawyer, and as there are always mitigating circumstances, I believe it is always worth putting forward reasons for why the judge could consider being more lenient, not excuses for why one shouldn't lose their license.
I have been a situation where my contriteness and story gave me a lighter sentence.
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766573_tn?1365170066
To put it the way a doctor explained it to my friend, drinking alcohol sends the virus into orgy mode.

_______________
Ha ha I love this~ I may have to borrow this expression. It is more hits home more than the one about how drinking is like adding fuel to a fire.
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Avatar_m_tn
In AZ, it doesn't matter what your motivating on. They give duis for bikes, horses, wheel chairs, etc., and it doesn't matter if you need a drivers license or not. A cab is a thousand times cheaper than a dui, always...Mark
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1765684_tn?1333822768
You should consult with a lawyer.  I understand what everyone is saying about not drinking or using HCV as an excuse to "get out of it".  However, if what you say is true and you only had three drinks, that is curious.  The limit in most places is 0.08 and yours was considerably higher than that.

Three drinks really shouldn't put you that high...  Unless those three drinks were served in a Big Gulp cup.

I'm not in favor of drinking and driving or drinking at all with HCV.  But I think it may be worth exploring whether or not HCV had anything to do with your very high reading.
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