Medical Issues in DUI cases: Auto-brewery syndrome
I recently read an interesting internet article about a New York DUI case where a unique medical defense was offered by a school teacher’s attorney. The attorney proved that his client’s body artificially manufactured alcohol by using excess intestinal yeast to turn ordinary food into alcohol. In fact, he proved that her body produced enough alcohol to result in breathalyzer readouts that would generally indicate a life threatening levels of intoxication. The presiding judge agreed with his defense and dismissed the DUI charges against the accused. Here is what happened.
I know this news will make MADD mothers even madder but the defense presented expert medical testimony to back this defense. This was not a made up defense. The accused’s medical specialist showed that the body can produce levels of alcohol that would meet the legal definition of drunkenness without actual alcohol intake. The defense expert, Dr. Anup Kanodia of Ohio, further stated that a person would still be safe to drive an automobile after an auto brewery syndrome flare up. He further stated that this is a brand new disease that needs more information in order to be fully understood and he believes that approximately 50 to 100 people have been diagnosed with this disorder. Of those diagnosed, he believes that 95 percent of those do not know they have the condition.
Flare-ups of auto-brewery syndrome have been linked to diets that are high in carbohydrates. Sufferers have reported feeling goofy after eating French fries and later being falsely accused of being under the influence of alcohol. The BBC reported earlier this year that the condition has also been connected to long-term antibiotic use. This long term use results in the body being unable to effectively process carbohydrates and sugar. In turn, the body produces alcohol instead of the natural by-products of carbohydrates and sugar.
The New York woman who temporarily defeated these DUI charges, read below, is a 35 year old school teacher. She was stopped for DUI after a 911 tipster reported that she was weaving in the roadway. After a traffic stop was conducted, the arresting officer noted that the accused was driving on a flat tire, had glassy-bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and admitted to drinking at least three cocktails. A subsequent breathalyzer revealed that her blood alcohol content was .33 percent. This is a level of intoxication that is commonly associated with a person who is either falling down drunk or is in an alcohol induced coma. According to her attorney, the evidence presented in the case was not consistent with an impaired driver. He stated that she was not falling down drunk, functioned as a safe driver, and her blood alcohol content reading was not reliable or consistent with the medical proof introduced at her court date. From all indications, the local New York prosecutor intends on appealing the lower court’s decision.
To learn more about Nashville DUI defense, I encourage you to watch the videos on my home page and read my blog posts. If you have questions regarding a pending DUI charge in Nashville or the surrounding counties, please give me a call at 615-345-1988. You have nothing to lose. One call could make all the difference in the world.
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-Lee Martin is a nationally recognized DUI and criminal defense attorney. He provides premier legal services by limiting his caseload exclusively to DUI and criminal matters. Lee knows how to build a solid defense strategy for your upcoming court date. Let Lee Martin be your choose as your Nashville area DUI and criminal defense lawyer. If you have pending DUI charges, give him a call at 615-345-1988.
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