We recently discussed the case of the New York teacher who was found to suffer from “auto-brewery syndrome” in the dismissal of a DUI offense. The rare intestinal disorder is caused by a saturation of yeast in the system of some people (which is why it is also called “gut fermentation syndrome”). Now, truck driver Ray Lewis is claiming that he also suffers from the condition after his conviction for drunk driving. Lewis not only crashed his truck near Eugene Oregon but spilled some 11,000 salmon across the highway.
Lewis, 45, is an employee of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and registered at .29 blood alcohol concentration after the crash. That is three times above the legal limit.
Lewis said he has a meeting with the department later this month. He says he expects to be fired.
Lewis was part of an effort to transport more than 200,000 salmon inside 10 trucks to the Row River after a dam malfunction in the McKenzie River caused water levels to drop – endangering the fish population. Unfortunately, this shipment of salmon ended up spilled over a highway.
It is not clear whether there is any documentation for Lewis to support his claim of “auto-brewery syndrome.” Even if this condition is documented, however, there remains the question of whether such people should be given licenses if they cannot detect a “flare” of the syndrome. After all, if he would be very negligent if he knew that he had this condition and decided to work as a truck driver. If he was not previously diagnosed, he would have had no reason to know. In such a case, he would need some compelling evidence in the form of medical treatment and tests.