DUI dismissed for woman with rare condition

Posted at 11:38 AM, Jan 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-01 14:11:20-05

Drunk driving charges have been dropped against a New York woman who reportedly has "auto-brewery syndrome," according to CNN.

Auto-brewery syndrome, which is also known as gut fermentation syndrome, is a rare medical condition that can occur when abnormal amounts of gastrointestinal yeast convert common food carbohydrates into ethanol. It was first described in 1912 and was studied in the 1930s and 1940s. In 2013, the case of a 61-year-old man who had frequent bouts of unexplained drunkenness for years was published.

In the case of the New York woman, she did have four drinks over the span of several hours the day she was arrested. The woman had met her husband at a restaurant before Christmas and was on her way home afterwards when she got a flat tire.

However, she didn't pull over to fix it and another motorist called it in. She was stopped by local police and was given a sobriety test and blew several times over the legal limit.

In fact, her blood alcohol content was so high, she was taken to the hospital as a precaution. Her husband was contacted and he insisted on extra tests because he knew how much his wife had to drink and felt something was not right.

The couple also hired an attorney who started to do his own investigating. He hired two physician assistants, a pharmacologist, and a person trained in Breathalyzers and put the woman through another test. The results of that test led them to believe that the woman has auto-brewery syndrome.

A judge has dismissed the charges, but the local district attorney is thinking about filing an appeal. In the meantime, the woman has been put on a yeast-free diet of absolutely no sugar, no alcohol and very low carbs. She is also taking anti-fungal medications.