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His body naturally produces alcohol, he is acquitted after a drunk driving conviction

This 40-year-old man, prosecuted at the end of March before the court in Bruges (northern Belgium), for driving while drunk, was released on Monday April 22 for a reason that was unusual to say the least: his body naturally produces alcohol.

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His body naturally produces alcohol, he is acquitted after a drunk driving conviction

This 40-year-old man, prosecuted at the end of March before the court in Bruges (northern Belgium), for driving while drunk, was released on Monday April 22 for a reason that was unusual to say the least: his body naturally produces alcohol. Indeed, it suffers from “self-fermentation” syndrome. His lawyer Anse Ghesquiere confirmed to AFP the information given by the Belgian media.

Also known as "auto-brewery", this syndrome causes the endogenous production of ethanol by the digestive system during the ingestion of foods with a high carbohydrate content, such as bread, potatoes or beans.

According to Anse Ghesquiere, this syndrome is underdiagnosed worldwide. Only 20 people are officially affected by this phenomenon. His client was able to prove that he had it after involving three doctors in total in this legal procedure. The court recognized “a case of force majeure”. “We are happy with this judgment but it is not yet final,” commented Me Ghesquiere, specifying that the prosecution had thirty days to appeal.

From now on, humans follow a low-carbohydrate diet capable of blocking the onset of the syndrome. At the time of the hearing at the end of March, the prosecution had also demanded that he avoid “any voluntary alcohol consumption”, reports the Flemish public television channel VRT.

Because of his syndrome, the 40-year-old has been arrested multiple times with a high blood alcohol level in recent years. In April 2022, it was checked with a level of 0.91 mg per liter of exhaled air, then again a month later with 0.71 mg/l. The legal ceiling in Belgium is 0.22 mg/l.

He was also previously sentenced in 2019 to a fine and suspension of his driving license for the same reasons and had proclaimed his innocence, claiming not to have drunk and apparently unaware of the illness from which he was suffering. However, we do not know the initial reasons for these road checks and the alcohol tests to which the driver had to submit.

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