Rare medical condition leads to DUI charge and dismissal

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2016 | Drunk Driving Charges

While it is no surprise that everyone deals with their own individual health issues, some medical conditions seem so odd that they might leave you asking, “Really?” Say, for example, that you were someone who, without consuming alcohol, had a blood alcohol level that could get you arrested for DUI. 

Recently, a woman was arrested out of state for suspicion of drunk driving and charged with DUI. This might not sound so ground-breaking, except for the fact that the suspect reportedly suffers from a rare medical condition that likely impacted her measured BAC level.

Currently, the defendant’s case has been dismissed because the medical condition she suffers from might be rare — but not fictional. The woman’s husband hired medical professionals and Breathalyzer experts to test her BAC at various times. The results suggested that without consuming alcohol, the woman seemed to have high levels of alcohol in her system. 

According to CNN, the medical condition at the center of this odd DUI case is called auto-brewery syndrome. Basically, yeast in the patient’s gastrointestinal system converts carbohydrates into ethanol and can result in tests that suggest a person is intoxicated or has consumed too much alcohol to drive. The suspect in this case, however, hadn’t consumed too much alcohol; her body was naturally producing alcohol in her system. 

Few people suffer from auto-brewery syndrome, so this medical condition is unlikely to be a defense in many Maryland DUI cases. Still, this story does highlight how each individual’s case deserves special attention. A drunk driving charge can be the result of varying medical conditions and technological limits. 

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Charles Waechter | Lawyer.com Premium
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