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A New York judge dismissed driving while intoxicated charges against a woman whose blood alcohol level was more than four times the state's legal limit because her body acts like a "brewery."
The driver's defense attorney argued that his client, whose name was not revealed, suffers from auto-brewery syndrome, a rare intestinal condition that converts food to alcohol, according to The Buffalo News. Attorney Joseph J. Marusak says the condition explains why the woman was pulled over last year and found to have a blood alcohol content of .33 percent.
“She can register a blood alcohol content that would have you or I falling down drunk, but she can function,” Marusak said.
Marusak went on to say the case was “bizarre and unusual," adding that it is "one of the strangest cases I’ve ever been involved with in more than 30 years as a lawyer."
Hamberg Town Justice Walter L. Rooth dropped the aggravated DWI and DWI charges against the woman earlier this month after reviewing the driver's medical evidence about the auto-brewery syndrome.
She was first pulled over in October of last year when a 911 call reported a woman driving erratically, according to The Buffalo News. The police report revealed that she smelled like alcohol, was slurring her words and struggled with sobriety tests.
The driver did admit to having a few drinks before driving, but insisted that she had not consumed enough to have a blood alcohol content of .33 percent. Following the charges, the driver an Ohio-based physician who treats patients with auto-brewery syndrome.
During her treatment, she used a Breathalyzer device to test her blood alcohol content 18 times when she wasn't drinking and frequently tested above the legal limit, according to The Buffalo News. In fact, at one point, her blood alcohol content reportedly reached .40 percent.
In a comment about his decision to drop the charges, Rooth confirmed that the woman's syndrome causes her digestive system to act as a "brewery." However, the Eerie County District Attorney's Office plans to appeal the judge's decision.
(H/T: The Buffalo News)