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Could auto-brewery syndrome be to blame for your DUI?

While most people need to drink a large amount of alcohol in order to surpass the blood alcohol content limit of 0.08 percent, recent findings are supporting the theory that you may actually be able to become intoxicated on very little alcohol. Some people, in fact, do not even need to swallow a drop of liquor in order to be drunk. Officials in Louisiana and around the country are becoming aware of auto-brewery syndrome, the phenomenon that may be causing you and other drivers to become intoxicated without knowing it.


Publications such as NPR are reporting on recent cases of people who appear to have an internal brewery in their guts. One case in Texas featured a man who checked himself into the emergency room complaining of dizziness and headache. A nurse took a blood sample and found that his BAC was 0.37 percent. The man was suspected of being a closet alcoholic, but insisted that he had not touched a drop of alcohol all day.


Scientists agreed to perform an experiment to see if he was telling the truth and kept him under close observation for 24 hours. During that time, the man’s BAC rose to 0.12 percent without him ingesting any alcohol. After this startling discovery, further testing pointed to an infection of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or brewer’s yeast, in the man’s gut.


The yeast was turning the starches in the man’s food into alcohol, essentially intoxicating him without him drinking a drop. This case has become just one of many reported around the globe as some people realize that they may not be entirely responsible for their DUIs. This information is intended to education you on a possible condition and should not be taken as legal advice.

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