Many people might assume that the only way a person can have a detectable or an elevated amount of alcohol in their bodies is to consume alcoholic beverages. While this may be the most common way that a person may test at or above the legal limit for driving under the influence, it is not the only way.
Many reports of people arrested for and even convicted of drunk driving offenses have surfaced in recent years in which a person was eventually found to have a relatively rare medical condition in which their body brewed its own alcohol. The condition, according to Healthline, may be known by a few names including auto brewery syndrome, gut fermentation syndrome or endogenous ethanol fermentation.
People with diabetes, poor immune systems or insufficient nutrition may have an increased risk of developing auto brewery syndrome. People taking antibiotics may also be at risk as these drugs reduce the good flora in their systems, thus allowing excess yeast to build up. This yeast then ferments into alcohol. One man who fought ABS for multiple years developed it after completing a course of antibiotics.
Multiple forms of ABS
Health.com reports that in addition to yeast in the gastrointestinal tract, a person may have excessive yeast in their bladder which then results in urinary auto brewery syndrome. One woman had this condition so severely that she was preparing to have a liver transplant due to damage caused to the organ by the alcohol. Until her ABS was diagnosed, she was believed to have an alcohol addiction problem.