DUI Dismissed- Auto Brewery Syndrome

DUI DISMISSED: AUTO BREWERY SYNDROME 

A Unique Defense Due to a Unique Factual Situation and Medical Condition

As a Top DUI Attorney in the Fresno area I keep up with and opine on various DUI related news from around the country.  While I have long known about auto brewery syndrome, it is rare to see it in the news.

A unique medical condition lead to a woman having a DUI charge dismissed.  The accused was able to show that her body has a unique condition which causes excess yeast in her intestine to create alcohol within her body.  

The excess yeast in her colon mixes with the sugars, usually produced when metabolizing carbohydrates, and within the warm confined of her body's core, provides the perfect environment for fermentation which creates alcohol.

In this case the accused underwent a series of medical tests that showed her body produces alcohol, at sometimes very high levels.  Her BAC was reported as 0.33% at the time of her arrest.

While relatively few people, estimated at between 50-100 nationwide have been diagnosed as auto brewers, it is believed that more than 95% of the "sufferers" do not know they have the syndrome.  Some people report acting "goofy" after eating carbohydrates, or being accused of being alcoholics when they haven't consumed any alcohol.  These can be signs of auto brewery syndrome.

Long term antibiotic use can contribute to this condition, which can be treated with anti-fungal medication.  One aspect of this case that could be a double edged sword is that the driver reported she had consumed three cocktails prior to being stopped.  This could both contribute to the BAC observed from the alcohol consumed, as well as add sugars to the stomach or intestines that could contribute to the fermentation and elevated BAC found in this subject.

DUI DEFENSE: Auto Brewery Syndrome Article

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Fresno DUI Lawyer Jonathan Rooker: Fresno area law enforcement agencies have some of the strictest DUI enforcement policies in the Nation. The first decision an officer makes during the DUI enforcement is the decision to stop the vehicle. It may be a driving pattern, maintenance infraction, tinted windows, or other issues the lead the officer to make that decision. The next decision is whether to have the driver exit the vehicle and conduct a DUI investigation. Factors include odor or alcohol, red watery eyes, and slurred speech. Timely stopping, parking, and fumbling with a license or insurance paperwork, all influence the officers decision to continue the investigation. Once outside the vehicle the subject may sway or have trouble following directions. At the conclusion of the third stage, the officer decides if there is probable cause for an arrest. If you are arrested, there are steps you should take on your own behalf. It is important for anyone cited for DUI to contact the DMV within 10 days to preserve their right to an Admin Per Se Hearing in front of a DMV officer. Failure to contact the DMV within 10 days may result in the suspension of your driving privilege. Remember, the officer arrests at probable cause, but it takes proof beyond a reasonable doubt to convict. If the officer does their job right, a large percentage of the people should be found not guilty.

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