Man Cleared On Drunk Driving Charges Because His Body Is A Rare Alcohol-Making Machine

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Man Cleared On Drunk Driving Charges Because His Body Is A Rare Alcohol-Making Machine

Bruges, Belgium

Photo: Photography Aubrey Stoll (Getty Images)

A Belgian man who was charged with drunk driving has been acquitted because he has auto-brewery syndrome, a rare condition that causes carbohydrates to ferment in the gastrointestinal tract, creating alcohol. The man works at a brewery, but his lawyer called that “another unfortunate coincidence,” Reuters reports. Three different doctors who examined the unnamed man confirmed to the court that he comes equipped with ABS.

Lisa Florin, a clinical biologist in Belgium, testified that the alcohol made in the bodies of people who have ABS is ethanol, the same type of alcohol people drink in beer, wine, and liquor, but they don’t feel the effects the same way mere mortals do. It’s not clear what the defendant’s blood-alcohol content was at the time he was pulled over, but despite it presumably being high enough to prompt the arrest, the judge was reportedly convinced by the evidence that he didn’t show any symptoms of intoxication. Florin also testified that while people are not born with ABS, it can emerge in conjunction with other intestinal issues.

On the surface, it sounds like a pretty awesome condition. Order a plate of biscuits and gravy, and you’re well on your way to a great brunch without having to spend a cent on mimosas. The downside, of course, is that if diagnosed, your doctor is going to recommend a low-carb diet, which means skipping the mac & cheese bar, swapping spaghetti for zoodles and cutting out ice cream. It also means explaining to people that, yes, you’re eating keto, but you’re not one of those keto people.

According to the National Library of Medicine, it also affects your ability to absorb key vitamins and minerals, namely B6, zinc and magnesium. It’s also been linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Even though your body can adapt to a degree, you still may have to deal with all the downsides of high alcohol consumption such as diarrhea, vomiting, and hangovers. So it’s not nearly as awesome of a condition as it may initially sound. Allegedly.