Autumn is in the air, which means the Law Court’s fancy turns to riding the circuit, visiting high schools in its annual October Tour O’Maine to hear argument. This year’s crop of appeals appears fairly pedestrian, except for one scheduled to be heard on October 25, at the Wells High School: State of Maine v. Burbank. The briefs are posted here:
A suspiciously high number of OUI appeals have always appeared on the October high school argument list, presumably and admirably to bring home to impressionable teenagers the dangers of drinking and driving. This OUI appeal revolves around a defense I’ve never heard of before: “Auto-immune brewery” or “Gut fermentation” syndrome.
According to the briefing, the defendant blew a whopping .31 on the Intoxilyzer. The defense wanted to submit expert testimony that it was possible that, unbeknownst to the defendant, his own gut was spontaneously producing alcohol.
According to one of the proffered experts,