Understanding auto-brewery syndrome

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2016 | criminal defense |

When it comes to getting a DUI, there are countless complexities that a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer simply cannot take into account. Ideally these methods would be reliable, but anybody who has wrongfully been charged with drunk driving knows that is not always the case. One potential culprit of false charges, for example, is auto-brewery syndrome. Read on to better understand what this condition is and how it can affect DUI allegations.

It is caused by yeast

Auto-brewery syndrome is a rare condition characterized by a person’s ability to become drunk without consuming any alcohol. This happens because the individual’s own body produces an intoxicant. Typically ethanol is the substance produced, and it is created by en dogenous fermentation that occurs within the digestive system. This process is triggered by the presence of yeast organisms within the gastrointestinal tract.

It can affect the results of sobriety tests

Needless to say, this condition can affect a person’s day to day life and ability to function. One of the greatest risks, however, is the potential effect on sobriety readings. Because auto-brewery syndrome does affect your blood alcohol level, it can also lead to results from a breathalyzer or field sobriety test that put you at risk of DUI charges. Though people will the condition may not have been drinking at all, it can appear that they have been.

Other health problems can cause complications

Auto-brewery syndrome is not the only medical condition that can adversely affect sobriety tests. Many other ailments, such as hypoglycemia, diabetes, anxiety and vertigo, can lead to inaccurate tests and false allegations of a DUI. A breathalyzer can give an inaccurate reading, and a field sobriety test cannot take into account the effects of certain medical conditions. All of these factors put medically vulnerable people further at risk of wrong charges.

Law enforcement may not know how to respond

Unfortunately, when faced with a citizen who suffers from auto-brewery syndrome or another medical condition, a law enforcement officer may not know how to respond to the situation. Because these ailments are rare and officers are trained to rely on sobriety tests, they may not be willing to listen to you or adjust their testing methods to accommodate your condition. If this is the case, you should perform the tests to the best of your ability.

If you suspect that auto-brewery syndrome or another medical condition may be a factor in DUI charges, you should explore your legal options. A lawyer can help you do so and provide the representation you need.