A person suddenly gets drunk without touching a drop of alcohol; it seems like something straight out of a sci-fi writer's imagination. In reality, there is a condition called auto-brewery syndrome that does, in fact, cause people to manufacture alcohol in their gastrointestinal systems that subsequently leads them to display symptoms of intoxication. Here's more information about this condition and how it can lead you to being arrested for DUI.
Auto-brewery syndrome, also called endogenous ethanol production and gut fermentation syndrome, is a type of metabolic condition that causes a person to produce large amounts of ethanol (the intoxicating substance in alcohol) in his or her gastrointestinal tract. The ethanol is then digested, causing the person to behave as though the individual had actually consumed alcohol.
The condition is caused by the presence of an overabundance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a type of yeast frequently used in the production of wines, beers, and bread. When a person eats carbohydrates such as crackers or pasta, the yeast causes the sugars in the food to ferment and lead to ethanol production; basically turning the person into a walking brewery.
The condition is rare. Because of this, not a lot is known about it, such as what causes a person to produce or become infected with such high levels of the yeast. The primary symptom of the disease is feeling intoxicated after eating a meal containing carbohydrates or sugar.
Other symptoms may include:
Once diagnosed, however, the condition can be treated using the anti-fungal drug flucanozole because this medication can kill the yeast in the gastrointestinal tract. Following a low-carb diet is also recommended as a means of staving off symptoms.
Auto-Brewery Syndrome and DUIs
In addition to causing bouts of intoxication, the ethanol produced by the yeast can be picked up by a breathalyzer test. In fact, a man with the condition blew a .037 when he went to a hospital emergency room for treatment after experiencing an episode. In every state, that would immediately get you arrested for a DUI and put in jail.
Escaping DUI charges in this case would require you to get examined and diagnosed by a specialist, which could take some time and cost a little bit of money to obtain. However, an unfounded DUI conviction could have severe and long-lasting consequences on your life, so it's worth the investment to have yourself tested.
For assistance with defending a case where a metabolic condition such as auto-brewery syndrome leads to a DUI charge, contact a defense attorney like Bommarito Law Firm.
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