Marion Barry Blames Diabetes for Wrong-Way Car Accident

Former DC Mayor and current Councilman Marion Barry says his diabetes is to blame for the car collision he was involved in Saturday evening after driving on the wrong side of the road, according to USA9.

It was around 9:15 p.m. when Barry was spotted driving his Jaguar X-Type into oncoming traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue in Southeast DC before his car collided with another vehicle. He was later taken to Howard University Hospital where he was kept overnight. Barry has blamed low blood sugar for the incident, stating that he suffered a hypoglycemic attack and became disoriented before driving down the wrong side of the road.

According to ABC7, the driver of the other vehicle involved in the collision was a 65-year-old woman who complained of neck pain following the crash and was also taken to the hospital.

Following the incident, the councilman received traffic citations for driving on the wrong side of the road, lack of registration, and driving without insurance. These citations are far from Barry’s first, as the former mayor is notorious for racking up parking tickets and other traffic charges in the District. According to the Washington Post, Barry amassed more than $2,800 in unpaid parking and speeding tickets before Saturday’s crash.

Upon hearing news of the collision, many assumed driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs might have been to blame for Barry’s erratic driving. This comes as little surprise considering it is not uncommon for police officers to misread certain driving errors as signs of intoxication. Those assumptions have led to many individuals being wrongly charged with DUI when there was, in fact, a medical condition or other extenuating circumstance to blame.

There are myriad reasons why a person’s driving ability may be impaired besides the consumption or alcohol or drugs, such as epilepsy or dementia. It seems that Barry’s collision is an example of a serious health condition being misconstrued by some as a DUI.

However, even in cases where poor driving ability was the result of alcohol or drug use, it is important to remember that individuals who are driving while impaired often have deep-rooted substance abuse problems that require treatment, not condemnation. Barry has publicly struggled with drug addiction, including serving six months in prison after he was videotaped smoking crack cocaine in 1990.

As a law firm that fights to protect the interests of the accused, we understand that such cases are often far more complex than the general public, and even some in law enforcement and the judicial system, might realize. If you are facing charges following an auto collision in the District of Columbia, contact our law office today to schedule a free consultation and to explore your options for defense.