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Scientific Defenses to an OVI: The GERD Defense

Dayton DUI Attorney Charles Rowland > DUI Law  > DUI Process  > Scientific Defenses to an OVI: The GERD Defense

Scientific Defenses to an OVI: The GERD Defense

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The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that acid reflux (called gastroesophageal reflux) and the more serious Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (hereinafter GERD) affect more than 90 million people at least one time per month and about 25 million people experience serious GERD problems daily. ”  GERD is usually caused by changes in the barrier between the stomach and the esophagus, including abnormal relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, which normally holds the top of the stomach closed; impaired expulsion of gastric reflux from the esophagus, or a hiatal hernia. These changes may be permanent or temporary (“transient”). [cite]

Although about 10 percent of the population of the United States has GERD, between 43 and 75 percent of those folks actually have silent or subclinical GERD, meaning they have no signs except for an occasional cough or raspy voice.  These signs result from refluxed hydrochloric acid (HCl) from the stomach and may present in vocal cord irritation.”  Greenberger, N.J. Update in Gastroenterology, ANN INTERN MED 125 (3) (February 1997) 221-225 as cited in Understanding DUI Scientific Evidence, 2011 ed.,  Developing a GERD Defense, McShane J.D. et al., pp. 136-138.  The defendant who suffers from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) will not exhibit outward signs of distress or other signs which a breath testing technician would likely notice.  The surging ethanol vapor can cause an elevated reading on an evidential breath testing device.  The elevated test can appear following a valid and conscientious observation period.  Because the evidential breath testing device cannot distinguish contaminated air from deep-lung alveolar air, it registers a reading which can be incredibly higher than observational evidence (i.e. the standardized field sobriety tests) would suggest.  Because of the GERD a factually innocent person will appear guilty of OVI.  Couple this with the elevated status afforded the evidential breath testing devices by Ohio law and you have a scientifically provable instance of injustice.

Do you have GERD? Do you have a verifiable diagnosis?  Have you been on prescription medication for this disorder?  If you answered yes to these questions, have your Ohio OVI attorney consider the science behind a reflux-based defense.  Attorney Charles M. Rowland II is certified in Forensic Sobriety Assessment, has been trained in the administration and evaluation of the standardized field sobriety testing, and has attended the National College for DUI Defense Forensic DUI Science national seminar where he was trained in presenting science based drunk driving defenses.  In addition, Charles M. Rowland has been certified on the operation, calibration and maintenance of the  Intoxilyzer 8000 and the BAC DataMaster breath testing machines.  Ohio drunk driving attorney Charles M. Rowland can be reached by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (1-888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.   Immediate help is available by filling out the CONTACT form on any of these pages.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting follow DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and you can access updates by becoming a fan of Dayton DUI/OVI Defense.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

Charles Rowland


Charles M. Rowland II has been representing the accused drunk driver for over 20 years. Contact him at (937) 318-1384 if you find yourself facing a DUI (now called OVI) charge.

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