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Vietnam Vet Says Tumor Caused Car Crash, Not DUI

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2011 | DUI |

A recent case in the news highlights the fact that people can be wrongly charged with DUI. A veteran of the Vietnam War recently had charges of DWI and criminal vehicular operation dropped against him in Minnesota. The veteran’s doctor was prepared to testify in his defense that a 2008 crash occurred when the man had a seizure and not because he was intoxicated.

The man was exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, and like many veterans, developed cancer from the herbicide. The doctor was going to testify that tumors on the man’s brain caused him to black out and crash.

In November 2008, the man drove through a red light and hit another car. The other driver was injured. The man was arrested and charged with DWI. A urine test showed that he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.06, which was below the legal limit of 0.08. The man admitted to drinking with a friend at a bar before driving, but insisted he was not intoxicated.

According to CBS, the man’s attorney said that the tumor caused the crash and not the “limited amount of alcohol” found in his system. Before the trial began, prosecutors offered a plea deal and the man accepted. In exchange for having the charges of DWI and criminal vehicular operation dropped, the man pleaded guilty to careless driving. He will pay a fine and restitution.

The man is relieved to have the case resolved, according to CBS, and he hopes that his case will encourage other veterans to be screened for potential health problems.


Vet Charged With DWI Has ‘Undiagnosed’ Brain Tumor (CBS Minnesota)