Woman beats DUI because her body brews alcohol

Posted at 3:49 PM, Apr 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-22 23:13:20-04

The District Attorney will not appeal the decision of a judge who dismissed drunk driving charges against a woman with an unusual defense: Her body is a brewery.

The District Attorney's Office initially filed a notice last December to appeal the decision of the Hamburg judge to dismiss the charges, but has now declined to appeal the ruling.

Her lawyer, Joseph Marusak, says his client's blood-alcohol level has been recorded at four times the legal limit when she hasn't had a drink. She didn't discover her rare condition until after her arrest.

Marusak submitted medical evidence of his client's condition, known as "auto-brewery syndrome," which led to the DWI charges being dismissed.

"It's a term for people who actually ferment carbohydrates into alcohol inside their body," said Dr. Barbara Cordell, who assisted in this case and is a leading researcher of the condition. 
"They're dizzy, they feel like they're slurring their words, they have a mental fog but a lot of times they don't connect that with being intoxicated because they haven't had anything to drink."

The condition is believed to be caused by high levels of yeast in the gut. The woman is now on a low-carbohydrate diet that has brought it under control.

The case has been sealed and the woman's name has not been made public.