Belgian Man Acquitted of DUI: Body Brews Its Own Alcohol

Belgian Man Acquitted of DUI: Body Brews Its Own Alcohol

In an extremely peculiar case, a Belgian court threw out a man's drunk driving allegation after discovering that he had a rare metabolic disorder that caused his body to produce alcohol.The 40-year-old man successfully demonstrated in court that he had auto-brewery syndrome (ABS), a condition in which his stomach ferments carbohydrates, raising blood ethanol levels and ultimately causing symptoms of intoxication.

Anse Ghesquiere, the man's attorney, confirmed the unusual situation to Agence France-Presse following media reports in Belgium. The attorney said that scientists' estimates of the total number of ABS cases worldwide had continued to be underestimated. Only about 20 persons have received an official diagnosis of ABS disease to date.

What happened in this unique case? 

The man showed up at the court after the police pulled over his car in April 2022 and charged him with drunk driving. His breathalyzer showed 0.91 milligrams of alcohol per litre, and a month later, his breath was found to contain 0.71 milligrams once more.

Belgium bizzire! 

The legal limit in Belgium is 0.22 mg/liter of exhaled air, which is comparable to a blood alcohol content of 0.5 mg/liter. The man had run across issues once more in 2019. Despite his claims that he had not consumed any alcohol, he was fined and had his driver's license suspended.  The man did not appear to be aware of his affliction until he had a recent encounter with law enforcement. 

Science is the answer

According to Ghesquiere, she and the accused guy are awaiting formal notice of his acquittal. She emphasized that if the prosecution service wanted to, it was supposed to file an appeal a month ago. In the meantime, the man has moved to a diet low in carbohydrates in order to stop his stomach from making additional alcohol.

The prosecutor asked him to abstain from alcohol during his March court appearance, according to VRT, the state television channel in Belgium.  

Doctors is shocked?

The woman emphasized that following testing on him by three doctors, her client—whose identity was kept a secret—provided proof of his ABS. The man was cleared of all charges after the court acknowledged the circumstances that led to the situation and were not anticipated by the law in his case.


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