Verdict in drink-driving case against person whose body produces alcohol

The man suffers from a condition called gout fermentation syndrome

2 mins read
Verdict in drink-driving case against person whose body produces alcohol

A Belgian court acquitted a man in a drunk driving case on Monday. The court’s decision was based on the lawyer’s explanation that his client suffered from a rare metabolic disorder, which caused his body to produce alcohol.

The case against the 40-year-old man was dismissed after he proved to the court that he suffers from a condition called gut fermentation syndrome.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, this condition, characterized by the production of alcohol in the body, is often characterized by symptoms of intoxication such as staggering gait, slurred speech, digestive distress and confusion.

Police first ticketed the man in 2019 and in April 2022 he was pulled over again after a breathalyzer reading of 0.91 mg of alcohol per liter (well above the legal limit of 0.22 mg per liter), AFP reported.

According to the news agency, the man learned of his illness after his last encounter with the police.

The man’s lawyer, Anse Ghesquiere, told Reuters that in “another unfortunate coincidence” his client worked in a brewery but that three doctors who examined him separately confirmed he suffered from gout fermentation syndrome.

Belgian media reported that the judge emphasized that the defendant did not show signs of intoxication. The name of the defendant was not shared in accordance with local judicial traditions.

Lisa Florin, a clinical biologist at AZ Sint-Lucas hospital in Belgium, explained that people with the disease produce the same type of alcohol as in spirits, but usually feel its effects less.

Florin added that people are not born with gout fermentation syndrome, but they can develop it if they suffer from another gut-related condition.

Agencies were also utilized


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