Imagine a North Carolina officer pulling you over for a DUI when you have not had anything alcoholic to drink. You may think you can easily get out of it once you have a breath test to show you are not lying when you say you have not drunk. However, you take the test and it shows you are over the legal limit. Would you feel like you are losing your mind? While it does not occur often, there is a medical condition that can cause you to seem drunk even when you consume no alcohol, and you may have just fallen victim to it.
KTLA 5 reports auto-brewery syndrome or gut formation syndrome is a condition where yeast in your gastrointestinal tract converts carbohydrates to alcohol. It makes you seem drunk. You may feel drunk and have symptoms including dizziness, drowsiness, trouble walking and mood changes. Your breath will smell like alcohol, too. To the casual observer, you seem like you enjoyed quite a few drinks with your lunch, even if you swear you have not had a drop of alcohol.
Experts say this is not a common disorder. The diagnosis rarely happens. However, this is something that medical experts have known about since 1912. The first cases occurred in the U.S. in the 1980s. Every once in a while, someone gets a diagnosis, often due to a DUI charge, they cannot understand.
Treatment requires an antifungal medication and probiotics. During treatment, you will not be able to eat carbohydrates. However, once cured, you can resume your normal diet.
This odd medical condition could explain your DUI arrest, but you will need a doctor’s diagnosis to use it as a defense. This information is for education and is not legal advice.