Autobrewers and Affluenza: Strange, But Successful DUI Defenses

By January 11, 2016Thomas Law Firm


The Autobrewer Defense

What would you do if everything you ate made you drunk? Ask one anonymous New York woman whose DUI charges were recently dismissed after she presented an incredibly unusual defense – her body is a brewery.

There is a rare condition known as gut fermentation syndrome, or “auto-brewery syndrome,” and it is exactly what it sounds like – sufferers of the condition turn normal food into alcohol as they digest it. Weird, right?

The woman was pulled over in October 2014 due to erratic driving, and she blew a .33 – that’s over four times the legal limit. And yet, she claimed, she had not had more than three drinks in the previous six hours. Extraordinary claims, however, require extraordinary evidence, and through monitoring and testing, the woman was able to prove to doctors that her body just turns food into alcohol. She has since been placed on a low-carb diet and is free to drive without restriction. Her case could have turned sour, however, if the prosecution could prove that the woman was aware of her medical condition before getting behind the wheel. How on Earth the woman managed to make it to age 35 without realizing that her stomach was a brewhouse, we may never know.

The Affluenza Defense

By now, you’ve probably heard of Ethan Couch, or as he is often referred to online, “the affluenza kid.” Couch’s story has been the subject of much media attention, especially lately after he and his mother allegedly fled the country after Couch was seen possibly violating the conditions of his probation in an online video. Couch was responsible for a devastating drunk driving car accident when he was 16, but managed to get off with a mere slap on the wrist – 10 years of probation. The defense claimed that Couch suffered from “affluenza” – a psychological condition caused by having too much money and not enough authority in his life. Ridiculous as that may sound, it successfully reduced his charges to long-term probation – after his potential violation, though, it remains to be seen whether he will face additional charges.

Our Denver drunk driving attorneys go the extra mile to find every possible avenue to protect you from harsh DUI penalties.

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