Can a medical issue cause a high Breathalyzer test readout?

There are those in West Virginia and elsewhere who have been pulled over for suspected DUI but have not had anything or enough to drink to warrant charges. For reasons they may not understand, their Breathalyzer test readouts show high levels of alcohol in their systems. Could the tests be wrong, or could something else be the problem?

For some individuals, medical issues can cause high Breathalyzer readouts. A woman in another state had this happen to her. With help, however, she was able to get her case dismissed. She found out she has something called auto-brewery syndrome. This is a medical issue that has been studied for awhile, but it is something that is considered quite rare and few people seem to know exists.

Auto-brewery syndrome causes the body to turn any excess yeast into alcohol. Accordingly, a person with this disorder -- if he or she eats to much bread or other high-yeast content food -- could end up with a fairly high blood-alcohol content level. People with this issue are typically able to function with BACs that would cause most other individuals to suffer severe impairment.

In this particular case, the accused and her husband requested medical testing after she was charged with a DUI for having a Breathalyzer test readout of a .40. With the help of legal and medical professionals, she found out that she had this rare condition.With medical proof of her disorder, she was able to fight and win to have her DUI charged dismissed. While this particular disorder may not affect many people in West Virginia, it certainly makes one think about the possibility of a medical issue causing one's BAC level to be elevated. With legal assistance, this is something that can be looked into and used when fighting a DUI charge.

Source: CNN, "Woman claims her body brews alcohol, has DUI charge dismissed", Sandee LaMotte, Jan. 1, 2016

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