When Hamburg Town Police arrested a motorist last year, they measured her blood alcohol content at .33 percent, more than four times higher than the state’s legal limit.
But a town judge recently dismissed the aggravated driving while intoxicated charge, after hearing medical evidence that the woman suffers from a rare intestinal disorder called “Auto-Brewery Syndrome” that sometimes turns ordinary food and beverages into alcohol in a person’s body.
The Erie County District Attorney’s office says it will appeal the judge’s ruling and seek to have the charges against the driver reinstated.
The case involving a 35-year-old school teacher is believed to be among the first of its kind in Western New York, if not the entire state.
Essentially, her digestive system has so much yeast that it functions like a “brewery,” defense attorney Joseph J. Marusak said.