A woman's 2014 DUI charge was dismissed after a Hamburg, New York judge closed the case due to the woman's rare condition, known as auto-brewery syndrome, being proven true.
Also known as "gut fermentation syndrome," auto-brewery syndrome converts excess amounts of yeast in the body to ethanol, aka alcohol.
Although the unidentified woman had allegedly consumed four alcoholic beverages between the hours of noon and 6 pm, according to attorney Joseph Marusak, her blood alcohol level was 0.40, which is over four times the legal limit.
We hired a local pharmacologist who said that a woman of her size and weight having four drinks in that period of time should be between 0.01 and 0.05 blood alcohol levels.
Police told The Buffalo News they stopped the woman when her car was spotted "weaving all over the road." Upon questioning the woman, police reported additional signs of inebriation including "glassy-bloodshot eyes" and "slurred speech."
After learning her BAC, police took her to the hospital, where her husband later demanded tests be taken when medical professionals determined she showed no symptoms of drunkenness.
According to CNN, Panola College Dean of Nursing Barbara Cordell said,
[People with auto-brewery syndrome] can function at alcohol levels such as 0.30 and 0.40 when the average person would be comatose or dying. Part of the mystery of this syndrome is how they can have these extremely high levels and still be walking around and talking.
Those affected by the condition usually opt to treat it with yeast-free, sugar-free, alcohol-free diets and anti-fungal medication.