Could auto-brewery syndrome have caused your DUI?

Have you recently been cited for a DUI in Kentucky when you did not believe you were intoxicated? If so, a new disorder called auto-brewery syndrome may be to blame. NPR sheds some light on the little-known disease that sounds like it is straight out of science fiction, but may be affecting drivers across the country.

 

First, it is important to understand what the syndrome means, which is exactly as it sounds: an automatic alcohol brewery. This brewery, however, could be located inside your gut. Researchers have found that the carbs and sugars that some people eat are converted into alcohol during digestion and sent into their bloodstreams. Thus, if you are a person suffering from auto-brewery syndrome, one glass of alcohol could be multiplied dramatically once it hits your stomach, causing you to become much more intoxicated than you intended.

 

One man was tested and produced a 0.37 percent blood alcohol concentration, despite his claims that he had not had a drop to drink all day. Researchers decided to test his theory and placed him in an observation room while giving him high-carb foods for 24 hours. During that time, his BAC rose and peaked at 0.12 percent, simply from what he was eating.

 

Further testing revealed that his gut was infected with a type of yeast that fermented the sugars and turned them into alcohol. Thus, without taking a drink, he and many other people could become intoxicated and be cited for a DUI. If you believe that you were charged with drunk driving when you had not had any or enough alcohol to be intoxicated, you may also be a victim of auto-brewery syndrome. This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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