Meet with an attorney

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Woman Beats DUI Charge, Argues Her Body is a Brewery

A New York woman beat a DUI charge in late 2015 after her lawyer argued her body is a brewery. In fall 2015, officers arrested the woman and took her to the hospital after she blew a .40 BAC, an extremely lethal level.

The hospital wanted her immediate release because she was displaying no signs of intoxication. Upon the woman’s lawyer’s investigation, they learned the woman had a very rare intestinal disorder that caused her body to brew its own alcohol. After presenting evidence of the woman’s health condition, auto-brewery syndrome, the judge dismissed her case just before Christmas.

Is auto-brewery syndrome real?

Cheers with BeerYes. Auto-brewery syndrome has not made many headlines because it is such as rare, obscure condition, but it has medical documentation. In 1912, the medical community first described auto-brewery disorder as “germ carbohydrate fermentation” and coined it as gut-fermentation syndrome. Researchers looked into the disorder in the 1930s and ‘40s to explore its contribution to vitamin deficiencies and irritable bowel syndrome.

People who have the disorder have an abnormal amount of gastrointestinal yeast in their body that converts regular food carbohydrates into ethanol. Doctors think the carbohydrate-to-alcohol conversion process takes place in the small intestine. People with auto-brewery syndrome have a vastly different gut fermentation process than other people that converts carbohydrates into glucose as a form of fuel for the body.

Can you use auto-brewery syndrome as a DUI defense?

The New York woman who officers charged with a DUI told law enforcement she had four drinks in six hours, which would have kept her blood alcohol content (BAC) level between .01 and .05, below the legal limit of .08. As stated above, she blew a .40, at odds with her actual alcohol consumption.

Concerned about her high BAC coupled with staff members’ statements arguing for her release, the woman’s husband requested more tests. Even hours after her last drink, the new tests still showed her BAC at 0.30 so they hired an attorney to investigate.

Her attorney noted: “I hired two physician assistants and a person trained in Breathalyzers to watch her and take blood alcohol levels over a 12-hour period and had it run at the same lab used by the prosecution. Without any drinks, her blood level was double the legal limit at 9:15 a.m., triple the limit at 6 p.m. and more than four times the legal limit at 8:30 p.m., which correlates with the same time of day that the police pulled her over.”

The evidence was enough for a judge to dismiss her case, although CNN reports that the District Attorney plans to appeal the case. The Assistant Erie County District Attorney stated that the judge’s decision is currently under review.

There is no known cure for auto-brewery syndrome, but patients can find relief with anti-fungal medications and diet modifications (low carbohydrates and limited dietary yeast, sugar, alcohol).

For more interesting articles and information about DUIs, read over our FAQ section and call The Farrish Law Firm, LP.A. if you need representation following a DUI charge. Contact us today at 513-621-8700.

Speak Your Mind