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What is auto-brewery syndrome?

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2019 | Drunk Driving

It would be a strange experience to get behind the wheel hours after having one or two drinks, or when not having had anything at all to drink, and to get arrested for having a high blood alcohol content. For some people in Florida and elsewhere, this scenario is a possibility. Auto-brewery syndrome is a rare medical condition that can cause your gut to produce high levels of alcohol in your system.

According to CNN, auto-brewery syndrome occurs when gastrointestinal yeast converts sugars and carbohydrates into ethanol in the gut. People who suffer from this condition can have extremely high levels of alcohol in their bloodstream and function normally, which would hospitalize and threaten the lives of anyone else. Symptoms can range from feeling slightly tipsy to experiencing unexplained, random bouts of drunkenness. As you can guess, authorities would likely hospitalize and issue a DUI to anyone experiencing an episode of auto-brewery syndrome intoxication.

In one case, a woman who blew a blood alcohol level of over four times the legal limit was arrested for drunk driving, despite having very little alcohol earlier that afternoon. The arrest led to her being diagnosed with auto-brewery syndrome. She had no idea she had the condition. You may find it interesting that some people can manage their symptoms by eating a yeast-free, low-carb and sugar-free diet and taking antifungal medication. However, other people find their symptoms extremely difficult to control.

If you are facing drunk driving charges but had little or nothing to drink, you may want to consider being checked by your physician. This information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.