If you drive southwest of Lawrenceville for a few miles, you’ll come to a town called Atlanta (you might have heard of it). A TV station there recently aired a report about a medical condition affecting some people in Georgia.
A condition known as auto-brewery syndrome actually causes people to “get drunk without drinking a drop of alcohol.”
Unsurprisingly, those with the condition can be subject to arrest for drinking and driving and all the punishments that go with the offense.
WSB-TV reports that experts say auto-brewery syndrome is the result of two factors:
- People who have too much yeast in their intestines or stomachs
- People with that high-yeast condition who then have diets high in sweets and carbohydrate
An expert told the station that when there’s yeast overgrowth, some of the excess yeast “ferments the carbohydrates into alcohol and so then they get drunk without even having a drop to drink.”
One auto-brewery syndrome sufferer said she would “come to” on the couch and be unable to remember where she had been or what she had done for the past several hours. She said that for a decade doctors were unable to diagnose the condition, which included extended bouts of vomiting, hours-long black-outs and seizures.
Her husband described the seizures: “We’re talking eyes rolling in the back of the head, seeing fairies in the front yard, calling 911 on the fairies to come and take care of them.”
Finally, an ER doctor told the woman’s husband that his wife was drunk. Really drunk. Her blood-alcohol level was equal to the BAC a 150-pound woman would have after consuming 20 12-ounce beers in just four hours.
A Georgia woman said her husband has had similar experiences. He once had a blood-alcohol content of .329 percent – more than four times the legal limit of .08 percent.
Auto-brewery syndrome is rare, but there are other medical conditions and medications that can have misleading symptoms and effects that can result in unwarranted drunk driving charges. Talk to a Lawrenceville attorney experienced in protecting rights, families and freedom with effective DUI defense.