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New York Woman Gets DUI Dismissed Based on ‘Auto-Brewery Syndrome’

Posted by Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney | Jan 06, 2016 | 0 Comments

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In October of 2014, a 35-year old woman met her husband for dinner and drinks at a Western New York restaurant. Between noon and 6pm, she believes she consumed four alcoholic beverages before leaving the establishment. On her way home, she had a flat tire and was pulled over by police in Hamburg. After passing one field sobriety test but failing another, the woman was arrested for driving under the influence.

But when she underwent a blood alcohol test at a nearby hospital, her BAC was measured at a whopping .30 percent. That's a level that would render most women unconscious (or dead).

A few months later, medical personnel observed the woman over a 12-hour period and took several blood samples at various intervals. Those samples showed BAC results of .279, .379, and even .40 – even though the woman hadn't taken a single sip of alcohol.

How can this be possible? It turns out that the unidentified woman had a rare condition called gut-fermentation syndrome or “auto brewery syndrome.”

Though researchers know relatively little about the condition, auto brewery syndrome sufferers have regular carbohydrates converted into ethanol by abnormal amounts of gastrointestinal yeast in her small bowel. So even though the woman didn't consume enough alcohol at the restaurant to impair her, the BAC tests recorded the alcohol in her bloodstream that had been manufactured by her body.

After more tests and research, the woman's attorney presented his findings to the judge in her DUI case; and last month, the judge dismissed all DUI charges against her.

About the Author

Kevin Trombold DUI Defense Attorney

Highly rated by former clients, who praise his warm, knowledgeable courtside manner and his fierce determination to reduce or eliminate charges. An accomplished speaker, author, and leader in DUI defense statewide Kevin is well respected by judges, prosecutors, and other attorneys across the State of Washington for his expertise, integrity, and knowledge in the complicated forensic science area of impaired driving allegations.

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