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BAC readings may not tell the whole story

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2019 | DUI

If you are like a lot of people in Texas, you might assume that the results of a breath test that tests for a person’s blood alcohol content are always completely accurate. This, however, may not always be the case. There can be a variety of factors that relate to inaccuracies in these tests. One of these factors may be a medical condition called auto brewery syndrome.

According to Healthline, auto brewery syndrome is rare but real. In this condition, a person’s body actually produces its own alcohol by converting sugary or carbohydrate-heavy foods and beverages into alcohol. This, in turn, results in a person having a high BAC even if they have not had any alcoholic beverages. The person may even behave as though they are impaired.

The Washington Post reported on a case in which one man did not know he had auto brewery syndrome and he was even arrested for a drunk driving offense because of it. His problem began when he had to take some antibiotics to treat an infection he experienced. As is common with antibiotics, they reduced his body’s natural bacteria balance in his gastrointestinal tract.

This man’s body was not able to re-establish the proper bacterial balance after completing the course of antibiotics. As a result, when he ate foods that were very carbohydrate-rich or sweet, he developed high levels of yeast that converted into alcohol. There were times when his blood alcohol content level was at levels often considered to be fatal. It took several years before his condition was discovered. Only after very extensive treatment was his condition under control.