Emmerdale star James Moore took to Twitter to tell all about an incident which saw traffic police breathalyse him after a member of the public mistook his ataxic cerebral palsy for drunkenness.
He tweeted: “So @AtaxiaUK are running a campaign called disordered not drunk, where disabled people recount their stories of mistakenly being labelled drunk. Tonight I seem to have a new one. I went for a meal with my girlfriend, and as I was walking back to my car, someone apparently, unbeknownst to me, called the police.”
“I was pulled over half an hour later and was told a concerned citizen rang claiming that I was DUI. I took a breathalyser, proving I was sober – but it really makes you think – there needs to be more awareness for this because disability can affect balance and motor skills. It’s hard to tell sometimes. But maybe the easiest thing to do is ask.”
He was quick to point out that he holds no ill will towards the officers.
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"The police were fantastic," he went on. "Really understanding and they let me go on my way very quickly, but it could have easily been avoided with a simple question."
In a reply to one of his followers, James expressed concern over whether the incident is likely to be repeated. "I can’t help wonder when it will happen again,” he said. “Because it’s happened before and it’s just slightly disheartening to be under more scrutiny than an able bodied person because of my walking."
Ataxic cerebral palsy is the rarest form of cerebral palsy. It's a developmental disorder that can severely affect someone's motor function, often causing issues with things such as balance and coordination. To the untrained eye, it can appear that someone with ataxic cerebral palsy is under the influence of alcohol. As James recently discovered.
The 27 year-old has played Ryan Stocks in the Yorkshire-set ITV soap since June 2018 and has won over an army of loyal fans since his arrival. Yet while he's proved a popular casting choice amongst Emmerdale aficionados, James almost didn’t follow his dreams because of a lack of role models in the industry growing up.
The actor previously revealed all about his struggles with cerebral palsy, telling disability lifestyle magazine Disability Horizons:
“It’s hard for anyone, but when I was growing up, there weren’t many disabled people being represented on film or television. But after I signed with an agent, the role came up almost straight away. I really put my all into it. The part of Ryan was always intended to be for a disabled actor, but not specifically one with cerebral palsy. It was incredible that they wrote that in later.”
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