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DUI charges dismissed for woman whose body makes alcohol

Chicago drivers may be interested to learn that a New York woman had DUI charges dropped after it became apparent that she had "auto-brewery syndrome." This syndrome, also called gut-fermentation syndrome, causes the person's digestive tract to convert common carbohydrates into ethanol. This extremely rare condition was first described in 1912 as "germ carbohydrate fermentation."

The woman reportedly met her husband for drinks at a restaurant in 2014. According to a pharmacologist, the woman should have had a blood alcohol content level between 0.01 and 0.05 percent based on the amount of alcohol she drank. As she was traveling home, she apparently had a flat tire but kept driving. Another driver reportedly saw the incident and called it in as an accident.

When the authorities tested her BAC, she blew a 0.40 and was taken to a hospital. Her husband asked that tests be run because she did not have any symptoms of being under the influence. Her BAC remained well over the legal limit for the following 12 hours. Although the judge reportedly dismissed the case against the woman based on the evidence, the district attorney may appeal the decision.

If a person is accused of drunk driving, they potentially face a range of consequences that may include a driver's license suspension and jail. However, there are several defenses that an attorney may use to fight or reduce the severity of the charges. Depending on the situation, the attorney may argue that the breath test device was not properly used or that it was not calibrated. In the meantime, the attorney may help the accused person keep their driver's license so that they can continue to get to work.

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

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