Excess yeast brews alcohol in the intestine that enters the blood stream, elevating alcohol content levels.
A 35-year-old school teacher in New York had a driving while intoxicated case dismissed by a judge, after her attorney claimed her body produces its own alcohol and her alcohol blood content is regularly above the legal limit for driving in the state.
According to buzzfeed.com, she was stopped by police in October of 2014 and given a Breathalyzer test that recorded a 0.33 percent blood alcohol level, more than four times the limit of 0.08 percent that is allowed in New York.
She explained to the officer that she had consumed only three drinks and had stopped drinking for an hour and a half before driving. The attorney for the woman said she subsequently tested herself a number of times in the following months and her alcohol content level consistently measured over 0.2 percent.
Experts say such a disorder probably does exist, but it is an extremely rare condition. The theory behind the condition is it stems from an imbalance in the affected person’s intestines, causing an overgrowth of yeast. The extra yeast devours any carbohydrates or alcohol consumed and outputs a large amount of ethyl alcohol, which works its way into the bloodstream, causing the elevated levels.
The article continues saying the head of nursing and health sciences at Panola College in Texas, Barbara Cordell, happened upon the disorder when she noticed a friend of hers acting intoxicated when she knew he had not been drinking. By observing him for the next 24 hours, she found his blood alcohol content level continued to rise throughout the period.
Cordell estimated about 100 people in the United States suffer from what is called auto-brewery, and she adds dozens of cases have been recorded in Japan, where almost 85 percent of the population has a gene that impedes the breakdown of alcohol in their bodies.
But there are skeptics, and they suspect that most people getting DWI arrests get them in the normal way, by consuming too much alcohol, and saying that it would take a huge amount of yeast to produce the quantities of alcohol to get you intoxicated.