Don’t use this excuse to drink and drive this New Year’s Eve.
But for one Upstate New York woman, apparently having a blood alcohol content above the legal limit doesn’t mean that she had too much to drink.
When Hamburg Town Police arrested the 35-year-old school teacher last year her blood alcohol content was four times higher than the state’s legal limit of .08, The Buffalo News reported.
Misdemeanor charges of DWI and aggravated DWI were filed against the woman in October 2014, but a judge reportedly dismissed the charges on Dec. 9 of this yearafter it was discovered that she has a rare intestinal disorder called auto-brewery syndrome.
The condition causes her body to turn ordinary food and liquid into alcohol. Her digestive system basically has so much yeast that it works like a “brewery,” defense attorney Joseph J. Marusakexplained, according to The Buffalo News.
“At first glance, it seems like a get-out-of-jail-free card,” said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University told the Associated Press. “But it’s not that easy. Courts tend to be skeptical of such claims. You have to be able to document the syndrome through recognized testing.”
The woman, who previously had no idea she had the condition, stated that she had three alcoholic beverages earlier in the day, but that amount wasn’t enough to render such a high blood alcohol content, according to The Buffalo News.
The Erie County District Attorney’s office is looking to reinstate the charges against the driver.