Woman Beats Drink-Drive Charge As Her Body Turns Food Into Alcohol


Some people come up with pretty bizarre excuses when they commit a blatant crime, but one woman in upstate New York had a very unusual defence… 

She was arrested with a blood-alcohol level more than four times the legal limit, but she discovered she had a rare condition called “auto brewery syndrome”, where her digestive system converts food into alcohol- her body is basically a brewery.

Her lawyer Joseph Marusak presented the research to a town judge in the Buffalo Suburb of Hamburg, who dismissed the charges. The woman had a previously undiagnosed condition where high levels of yeast in her intestines fermented her high-carb foods into alcohol.

Joe Raedle

The extremely rare condition was first documented in Japan in the 1970’s and it has been raised far more often in drink-driving cases across the U.S as it becomes more known.

Speaking to The Guardian, Jonathan Turley – a law professor at George Washington University – believes many at first glance would think it’s a ‘get-out-of-jail-free card’ but it’s not very easy to prove.

The first case to be documented in the U.S. wasn’t until 2013, when Barbara Cordell of Panola College in Texas published a case study on a 61-year-old was experiencing drunkenness without having a sip of booze.

While people in most of these similar cases said they felt drunk, Marusak claimed that it was not true of his client saying: “She had no idea she had this condition. Never felt tipsy. Nothing.”