A rare condition that is known as auto-brewery syndrome might be of interest to people in Tennessee. People who have the disorder convert carbohydrates into alcohol in their bodies without consuming any alcohol at all. This may cause them to become drunk even though they haven’t had a drop to drink.
People who have auto-brewery syndrome have excessive yeast in their guts that they convert into alcohol. The condition is most common in Japan, but there have been several interesting cases involving it in the U.S. In one drunk driving case in New York, a woman whose blood alcohol content tested at 0.40 percent was found to be suffering from auto-brewery syndrome. She had not drunk any alcohol. Her charges were dismissed when her condition was discovered.
In the woman’s case, doctors were able to help her by prescribing her some anti-fungal medications in order to reduce the yeast in her system. The condition is incurable, however. People who suffer from it may control it with diets that have limited amounts of alcohol, sugar, carbohydrates and yeast.
People who have been charged with drunk driving when they hadn’t been drinking might want to get tested for auto-brewery syndrome if they had tests showing high blood alcohol concentrations. If a person has the disease, his or her criminal defense attorney might be able to secure a dismissal of the charges pending against the client. There are other diseases, such as diabetes, that can also cause a person to appear to be under the influence of alcohol as well.