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Ataxia UK
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" Drunk " in drive ban

I read this article in ' The Sun ', on sunday 31 march, and couldn't beleive my eyes.

" A woman who has a condition that makes her appear drunk has lost her licence after being wrongly accused of drink-driving.

Ms X ( i don't want to name her ) 41, suffers from ataxia which affects her balance.

Cops quizzed her for walking unevenly at a petrol station and the DVLA revoked her licence.

Ms X of Gloustershire who has been cleared to drive, said: police treated me like a criminal. "

I know how she feels!!!!!!! i too was LABELLED as being drunk, when i went to purchase alcohol for a house-warming party,

I was also invited to join a AA meeting....how rude!!!!!! on a different occassion

but it's embarresing how society is QUICK to judge.

15 Replies

I get "take more water with it" comment even from my friends. I am sure they think its funny. But the next time I hear it I dont know whether to sit the person down and have a long in depth conversation about the unfairness of being quick to judge OR just punch their lights out....


Im very suprised to hear " you couldnt believe your eyes" its not published but that sort of situation is a daily occurance certainly in my life anyway. I just presumed like me that almosteveryday someone decides im drunk, a doctor has never heard of ataxia and thinks im patronising when i try to explain or say " google it" the illness isnt the problem, its trying to convince people especially in the medical world . This is 2013 and yet very little is known by such a few about this



I was labelled as being 'a bloody alcoholic' by the time I had got myself together the moment had past. You are right people are quick to judge but maybe I was prior to CA.

Take care




I think it depends on the person.

I´ve been teaching for quite a while:

my students ( age group 10 - 25) accepted me as

someone who was trying to do his best.

And, whenever I meet them today they give me a feeling

like "you´ve been a good teacher "

But, what can we expect from policemen

when not even too many GPs know about

our disease ?



that is awful,I suffer from Friedreich's Ataxia and I was not able to get into night clubs as the bouncers said I was too drunk and should go sober up and of course whatever you say they don't believe you as Ataxia is not well known.


true jurgen,

but wouldn't you feel deprived of your indepence???, i know i would, even though i have never driven and know a few people with ataxia, who do drive.

hi ajres.

ii too have had many an encounter with bouncers...it got to a point where i made a taxi take me to a night-club and got it to wait, whilst i walked in, but if the bouncers told me otherwise, i would just get right back in the taxi....i know dont bother with night-clubs as its too embarresing and why should i have to explain!!!!!


hi twinkle2508


I totally agree, you shoudln't have to explain yourself. I think that society today is very judgmental and ignorant.. I find that because im only 30 when i use a disabled parking bay i get the most awful looks and comments from the elderly, on one occasion an elderly man banged on the car window and told me how discussed he is that im parking in a disabled space and that I should be ashamed!! Hello my love take a look at the wheelchair in the back of my car and the blue badge on the dash board, he soon shut his mouth and walked off with his tail between his legs.


I no longer drive. I decided that although the DVLA had given me the all clear until 2015 I was not safe to other drivers, who are idiots or that is how they should be treated, so I have stopped driving but as a result feel as if I have lost my indepedence. I know what you mean when you say the Police do not understand Ataxia I feel that the general public don't understand Ataxia and I believe that there somehow needs to be more PR on the condition although it is a rare condition so that more people are made aware of the condition especially those in authority.. I am sorry to hear of your experience.


I explain my illness to most people I'm in contact with - otherwise they think I'm drunk. I have much less comments since walking with a stick and I am much more steady with the stick. Before using the walking stick people would cross the road to avoid me - thinking i'm a drunk or druggy. Really awful feeling. I can't walk very far now, and def not without my stick otherwise I would fall over all the time. Last time I fell over in public was in our local town centre, the people sitting outside at the bar were laughing - I guess i did look a sight - until my husband helped me up and i took my walking stick out of my handbag then they shut up. I must admit i was really upset about it. That was two years ago now.


Hi Twinkle the same happened to me a few years ago, I don't drive now. I was refused alcohol in a pub, probably thought I'de had too much already. It also upsets me, I wish (like Germany) there was a colored armband to explain to people that you're disabled NOT drunk or a druggy.


hi berejena

i wonder how they get on with the colored armband,? isn't it the same as being labelled, when most of us with ataxia just want to be treated as normal


whenever I feel (down) in the dumps I listen to Eric´s song



Some things in life are bad

They can really make you mad

Other things just make you swear and curse.

When you're chewing on life's gristle

Don't grumble, give a whistle

And this'll help things turn out for the best...

And...always look on the bright side of life...

Always look on the light side of life...


hi jurgen

no it's a good song to listen to, you could also try listening to some Roger Miller songs, there's one in particular that i listen to.....but damn my memory i can't think of the words, there just coming to me all jumbled up.......i no doubt think of it, in a few days LOL


Roger Miller (I) (1936–1992)


is that the right Roger Miller ?





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