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Medical Condition Linked to False DUI Arrest

March 30, 2020

Many people who are arrested for and charged with impaired driving offenses may well feel as though society looks very harshly at them. The stigma associated with “drunk driving” has been deeply ingrained in people over the last several decades. While it is important for people to act responsibly, it is equally important for people to remain open-minded and remember than an arrest far from proves a person’s guilt.

USA Today reported on the case of a man who experienced a plethora of challenges, including an arrest for suspected driving under the influence after measuring a blood alcohol content of 0.20%, but who had not even been drinking at all. The case was even studied and included in a British medical journal, in part because of the unique nature of the man’s situation.

After pursuing help from multiple doctors, the man was diagnosed with a rare condition called auto brewery syndrome. People with ABS actually produce their own alcohol without having consumed any themselves. The man developed the condition after antibiotics wiped out the natural flora in his body, allowing the development of a yeast that metabolized sweets and carbohydrate-rich foods into alcohol.

A different form of ABS called urinary auto brewery syndrome was diagnosed in a woman whose bladder had high amounts of a yeast similar to brewer’s yeast. explained that this resulted in her body producing alcohol and even causing serious problems with her liver. At one point, the woman was on the transplant list for a new liver due to the condition people presumed to be a result of her excessive drinking.