Appeal against woman's body brewery defence

  • 31/12/2015

A district attorney’s office in New York are seeking to overturn a ruling in which a woman had a drink driving charge overturned because of a rare medical condition in which her body is essentially a brewery.

Hamburg Town Police arrested the 35-year-old woman last year, and her blood alcohol content at 0.33 percent, more than four times higher than the state of New York's legal limit.

However, a town judge this month dismissed the aggravated driving while intoxicated charge, after hearing medical evidence that the woman suffers from a rare intestinal disorder called "Auto-Brewery Syndrome" that sometimes turns ordinary food and beverages into alcohol in a person's body, Buffalo News reports.

This means her digestive system has so much yeast that it functions like a brewery, and is also known as gut fermentation syndrome.

Defence attorney Joseph J. Marusak said "she can register a blood alcohol content that would have you or I falling down drunk, but she can function".

He described the case as "bizarre and unusual – one of the strangest cases I've ever been involved with in more than 30 years as a lawyer".

The woman admits to having three alcoholic beverages earlier in the day, but not nearly enough booze to produce such a high blood alcohol reading, according to the Buffalo News.

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