Patients with cerebellar ataxia very quickly learn that consuming alcohol worsens their symptoms. It is not unusual for patients with cerebellar ataxia to be questioned by the police, especially when driving. Most patients are allowed to drive after evaluation.
A letter from a doctor can be provided to patients (who are safe drivers) stating that they suffer from cerebellar ataxia, which may resemble alcohol intoxication. Shrinkage of the cerebellum from prolonged use of alcohol (along with deficiencies in nutrients, such as thiamin) can also result in permanent cerebellar ataxia.