A recent news story shows why hiring a lawyer and fighting a DWI charge is almost always in a person’s best interest. According to articles from numerous news sources, a New York woman had her DWI charges dismissed after presenting evidence that she suffered from “auto-brewery syndrome,” a rare condition wherein her body actually fermented alcohol on its own and which resulted in her having elevated blood alcohol concentration levels throughout the day.
In the case, the woman allegedly had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of almost 0.40 after being stopped by police late one evening. She had only consumed four drinks that day over the course of six hours and had stopped drinking a couple hours before she was stopped, which should have caused her to have a BAC below the legal limit and certainly nowhere near the 0.40 that she registered.
The officer who stopped her had her taken to a hospital due to this extremely high BAC. However the hospital did not observe the woman exhibiting any signs of alcohol intoxication that would normally be seen if her BAC was 0.40 and wanted to release her. The woman’s husband asked that further tests be ran and the hospital found her BAC to be 0.30 hours after she had her last drink.
An independent investigation was mounted in order to determine why the woman had such high BAC levels. They hired medical professionals to observe her over a 12 hour period, collected periodic samples, and then had the samples analyzed to determine her BAC. They found that without consuming any alcohol the woman’s BAC slowly rose throughout the day eventually reaching a level of more than four times the legal limit by 8:30 p.m. She was subsequently diagnosed with auto-brewery syndrome.
After being diagnosed and presenting evidence of the condition to the court, the charges against the woman were dismissed by the judge. Although this was a rare condition and one that afflicts very few people, this is an example of zealous and imaginative lawyering that led to an innocent person being exonerated in a situation where it appeared she was clearly guilty.
At The Law Office of John J. Leunig, we pride ourselves on offering imaginative, zealous and cutting-edge defenses for people charged with crimes. Contact the attorneys at The Law Office of John J. Leunig for a free consultation and to discuss your options.