Woman with “auto-brewery syndrome” is cleared of drink driving charge – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Woman with “auto-brewery syndrome” is cleared of drink driving charge


A woman has been cleared of a drink-driving charge after she was diagnosed with a rare medical condition that causes her body to turn food into alcohol. The woman was four times over the allowed blood-alcohol limit.

Police in New York pulled over the 35-year-old school teacher after she was seen driving erratically. The responding officer said the driver smelled of alcohol, was slurring her speech, and had glassy, bloodshot eyes. She was charged with driving while impaired. The woman admitted to having three alcoholic drinks earlier in the day, but her lawyers said she had not consumed enough to end up with the .33% reading.

The case was dismissed after medical tests showed the woman had “auto-brewery syndrome”. Her condition, also known as gut fermentation syndrome, involves an excess of yeast in the digestive system converting carbohydrates to alcohol. Auto-brewery syndrome was first documented in the 1970s in Japan. It is extremely rare with only a handful of cases having been reported around the world.

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