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Drunken Behavior Linked to Medical Condition

The Collin County Law Group Nov. 12, 2019

To most people in Texas, if a driver takes a breath or blood test to measure the level of alcohol in their system, it may seem logical to assume that the results of those tests could conclusively prove how much alcohol a driver had consumed. That, however, is not true. For starters, every person’s body may metabolize alcohol at a different rate. Then, it must be known that it is possible for a person to have a measurable blood alcohol content even if they have not consumed any alcoholic beverages at all.

This might sound far-fetched, but it is reality. As reported by Forbes, there is a medical condition known as auto-brewery syndrome, or ABS. While rare, this is a valid condition and has been documented in several cases. One of those cases involved a man who was arrested for and charged with drunk driving despite his assertions that he had not been drinking.

This driver’s problems started after he had taken a course of antibiotics. These types of drugs are known to kill even the good flora in a person’s intestinal tract and that is what happened for this man. Without those bacteria present, a fungal yeast developed. This yeast then contributed to the development of alcohol when the man would consume carbohydrate- or sugar-heavy foods. These foods essentially fermented when mixed with the yeast in his body.

The man’s condition was only brought under control after a very extensive set of treatments that included a strict diet and the addition of probiotics to help regrow good bacteria. It is not known if his previous drunk driving charges were dropped.