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Auto-brewery syndrome leads to DUI dismissal

Ohioans may be interested in a recent DUI case out of New York. In the case, a woman who was charged with a DUI after testing revealed her blood alcohol concentration to be nearly four times the limit had her case dismissed.

According to reports, the woman had gone for food and drinks with her husband. Over a six-hour period, she had consumed four drinks. An expert reportedly stated that her BAC should only be between .01 and .05 at that consumption level, which would have been under New York's limit of .08 for DUI charges.

The woman had a flat tire after leaving the restaurant. She didn't want to try to change it herself, so she kept driving. After law enforcement stopped her, they took her to the hospital. The hospital wanted to release the woman because the staff there said she didn't show signs of high intoxication. Her husband reportedly asked them to test her, and she tested at .30 BAC, a level which leads some people to fall into a coma. After further testing was performed by the woman's defense team, they learned that she had a rare condition called auto-brewery syndrome, a condition in which the body converts food into alcohol. The court dismissed her charges, but the prosecution has indicated it may appeal.

This syndrome is very rare, and it normally will not come up in most DUI cases. People who are charged with drunk driving may still have other defenses available to them, however. They may benefit by seeking help from a criminal law attorney who may be able to identify defenses that are available to the client.

Source: CNN, "Woman claims her body brews alcohol, has DUI charge dismissed," Sandee LaMotte, Jan. 1, 2016.

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