Auto brewery syndrome and other conditions can mimic intoxication

| Nov 6, 2021 | DUI Defense

Did you know that it is possible to face driving under the influence (DUI) charges even if you have not been drinking? Auto brewery syndrome is a condition that makes people feel and appear intoxicated. Further, the syndrome also frequently results in failed Breathalyzer and other blood alcohol tests.

Auto brewery syndrome is rare. However, we wanted to discuss it to show you that hope exists when you know you were not drunk and want to avoid a DUI conviction.

How does the condition make you appear drunk?

The syndrome – also known as gut fermentation syndrome – causes the body to convert carbohydrates from starchy and sugary foods, or yeast, into alcohol. When the body contains excessive yeast, it causes the intestines to “brew” its contents into ethanol alcohol, resulting in someone feeling drunk and potentially testing positive for intoxication.

People are not born with auto brewery syndrome, but it can arise from other conditions that produce excessive yeast. Crohn’s disease can lead to the syndrome, for example. Liver problems in which the gut cannot get rid of alcohol efficiently can also cause this syndrome to develop.

Can other conditions mimic intoxication?

Auto brewery syndrome is not the only medical problem that can make you appear drunk when you’re not. Other conditions that may cause you to exhibit the physical signs of drunkenness include:

  • Head or brain trauma
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Shock
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Epilepsy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Psychiatric and neurological disorders

As you may know, a conviction or even just an arrest for DUI can haunt your life for years. When you suspect a medical problem led to your drunk driving arrest, consider seeking information about building a defense against your DUI charges.


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