Jump to Navigation

DUI criminal defense: Auto-brewery syndrome

South Carolina residents may have heard about a DUI case in another state that was recently dismissed due to a woman claiming a medical issue caused her high Breathalyzer test readout. Little is known about auto-brewery syndrome, but with the right help, this woman was able to use it as a successful criminal defense against her DUI charges. So, what is auto-brewery syndrome?

Auto-brewery syndrome is when a person's body turns excess yeast into alcohol. This process of converting food carbohydrates into alcohol occurs in the small bowel. It is a rare condition, but is one that has been studied since the early 1900s.

People with auto-brewery syndrome can function with alcohol levels far above what most people are able to handle. In this particular case, the accused showed no visible signs of impairment, but her Breathalyzer readout was about four times the state's legal limit. The woman and her husband insisted on medical testing, and it was later found that she suffers from this rare condition.

With medical proof in hand, the accused was able to have her DUI charges dismissed. The prosecuting attorney on this case is still hoping to appeal this decision, though. While this criminal defense will not work for everyone, it is certainly something to think about, as most people with the disorder are not even aware that it is a problem. Those in South Carolina who think that medical issues -- such as this -- contributed to high Breathalyzer readouts and subsequent DUI charges can work to fight their cases in court. While proving a medical problem is not necessarily easy, it may be possible to have charges reduced or dismissed entirely through further investigation and with the assistance of medical experts.

Source: CNN, "Woman claims her body brews alcohol, has DUI charge dismissed", Sandee LaMotte, Jan. 1, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Watch Our Videos

We have over 30 years of experience in personal injury and criminal law practice.

VerdictsAll Videos

Personal Statement from Mr. Martin

“If you have been charged with a crime or been involved in a serious accident, the attorney you hire may be the most important decision of your life. There is no substitute for experience and commitment.

It is too late after unsatisfactory results to second guess your decision. If you would like to discuss your case, give me a call I’ll be happy to walk through it with you. “

Contact Us

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Location

The Law Offices of L. Morgan Martin P.A.
1121 3rd Avenue
Conway, SC 29526
Phone: 843-484-0993
Toll Free: 800-506-0311
Fax: 843-248-2842
Map and Directions

Super Lawyers Distinguished   | AV | LexisNexis | Martindale-Hubbell | PeerReviewRated | For Ethical Standard and Legal Ability NACDL 1958 | National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers American Board Of Criminal Lawyers The National Association Trail Lawyers | The Association