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How is it possible to be drunk without drinking?

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

It hardly sounds feasible — getting drunk without ever drinking a drop of alcohol. However, while rare, it is indeed possible to become intoxicated without drinking anything alcoholic.

Auto-Brewery Syndrome (ABS) is the name for the seldom-seen condition that plagues its sufferers. These people experience some or all of the effects of intoxication due to a malfunction in their intestines that causes their gut to ferment alcohol from carbohydrates and sugars.

Could that be the cause of your drunk driving charge?

As stated, this condition is uncommon. However, there are some factors that enhance the risk of developing it, including:

  • Crohn’s disease diagnosis
  • Obesity
  • Partaking of a diet high in carbs and sugars
  • Being diabetic

It should be noted that otherwise healthy individuals with no other co-morbidities may also be diagnosed with the rare syndrome.

Is that a viable defense to DWI charges?

If you are one of the few people with legitimate diagnoses of ABS substantiated by medical records, this absolutely could be a factor in exonerating you from a drunk driving charge. But even if you don’t suffer from this particular problem, a review of your medical records might reveal contributing health conditions that could mitigate your circumstances. For instance, an epileptic driver could have suffered a petit mal seizure behind the wheel that caused them to cross over the centerline of the highway, thus mimicking an intoxicated motorist.

As always, when facing criminal charges here in Georgia, it is important to carefully evaluate all potential defense strategies to come up with the best option for your defense.