Robert R. Hart, Jr., Attorney at Law
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The impacts of auto-brewery syndrome

Ohio residents may be surprised to learn that some people can become drunk without consuming alcohol. A condition called auto-brewery syndrome converts common carbohydrates in the body into alcohol. Individuals who have this condition can eat something as simple as a potato and experience symptoms commonly associated with being drunk. While the disorder has been documented in Japan, a few cases have been documented within the United States.

The condition may be treated by sticking to a diet low in sugar and carbohydrates. In the case of one woman, her condition was treated in part by using anti-fungal medications. It is important to note that while these steps may help to control symptoms, there is no cure for auto-brewery syndrome. If left untreated, individuals could experience a condition similar to a hangover in addition to extremely high blood alcohol levels.

One man in Texas who was diagnosed with the condition reportedly presented symptoms of intoxication at all times despite not consuming alcohol. His blood alcohol level was as high as .40 percent even when he was not drinking. The case was part of a 2013 study that was published in the journal 'Scientific Research."

Those who are charged with drunk driving may want to consult with an attorney about ways to cast doubt on the charge. For instance, it may be possible to argue that a medical condition led to slurred speech, glassy eyes or an elevated blood alcohol level. This may be enough to have the charge dismissed before trial or obtain an acquittal during a trial. If a driver is found not guilty of a drunk or impaired driving charge, it might be possible to seal the accusation.

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