A judge recently dismissed a case involving a woman arrested in New York for DUI with a .3 blood alcohol level.
The case has gained nationwide media attention for its unique facts-but it has also highlighted the importance of getting a criminal defense advocate for any drunk driving charge.
The facts are as follows: A 35-year-old woman in New York State was pulled over for suspected DUI and was given a roadside breath test. Her BAC level read .33-four times the legal limit-and she was immediately arrested.
Pondering the impossibility of the situation, the woman was sure the results were inaccurate. She had consumed 3 alcoholic drinks over a period of 6 hours while visiting her parents. So, she decided to get an attorney.
Her lawyer's defense strategy was unique to say the least-but one that proved fruitful and resulted in a dismissal of her DUI charges.
Her lawyer argued that she suffered from an undiagnosed condition known as gut fermentation syndrome, a condition that causes intestinal yeast to ferment high-carbohydrate foods into alcohol. So, essentially he argued, it wasn't alcohol that produced the .3 BAC reading-it was food.
In the face of overwhelming suspicion, the lawyer hired medical staff to monitor his client's food and drink intake and conduct random blood sample testing. He also had a breath test administered to her every night for 18 days straight. Each time, the reading registered around .20 BAC.
The lawyer passed on his findings to the court-and it worked. Last month, the judge dismissed the charges and the woman is now free to drive without restriction.
The story is astonishing and likely not a strategy most criminal defense attorneys would utilize. It does however point out the importance of hiring legal advocacy when facing any criminal charge likely to have serious repercussions.
Without an attorney, the woman would've probably faced steep fines, jail time and a criminal record to haunt her for years to come.