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Auto-Brewery Syndrome Can Affect BAC Test

Posted on in Traffic Offenses

Auto-Brewery Syndrome Can Affect BAC TestAs odd as it may sound, it is possible for someone to ferment alcohol in their gut without having had any alcohol to drink. It is a rare condition known as auto-brewery syndrome or gut fermentation syndrome. People with this syndrome can be falsely suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol because a blood alcohol concentration test will give an inaccurately high reading. If you can prove that you have auto-brewery syndrome, you may be able to get your DUI charges dismissed, but this defense rarely applies.

How It Happens

People develop auto-brewery syndrome because of yeast or bacteria that grow in their gastrointestinal system – the same type of yeast that is used to ferment alcohol. Auto-brewery syndrome is most commonly diagnosed in people who have other conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, Crohn’s disease, and short bowel syndrome. Auto-brewery syndrome can cause the same symptoms as alcohol intoxication, such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of coordination
  • Vomiting
  • Belching
  • Disorientation

Unlike with consuming alcohol, a person with auto-brewery syndrome cannot reasonably predict when these symptoms may occur. Physicians may treat the syndrome by prescribing anti-fungal medicines and recommending that the patient goes on a low-carbohydrate diet.

DUI Defense

Because auto-brewery syndrome is rare and not well-known, it is not a common defense when someone has been charged with DUI. A police officer or judge may not believe you if you tell them that you have this condition because it was previously considered to be a myth. To use auto-brewery syndrome as a defense, you will need a physician to diagnose you with that syndrome. Though the diagnosis is rare, it is possible that many people with the syndrome are not diagnosed because it is an obscure condition. Once you have that diagnosis, other factors can help in winning your DUI case or getting it dismissed, such as:

  • What the officer used as the basis for your arrest
  • Whether you showed any signs of impairment
  • Whether you had consumed any alcohol that night

You are more likely to avoid conviction if your BAC test was the main reason that you were charged. However, your case may depend on whether the judge accepts your diagnosis and understands that your BAC level was misleading.

Contact a Crystal Lake, Illinois, Criminal Defense Lawyer

There are factors other than auto-brewery syndrome that can skew your BAC test, particularly if it was a breath test. A McHenry County criminal defense attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can fight against a DUI charge based on flawed evidence. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.



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