Apparently, the body naturally produces alcohol. It's called Endogenous alcohol production and is caused by the natural action of microbial fermentation of carbohydrates in the gastrointestinal tract. It occurs 24 hours a day 365 days a year and generates tiny amounts of alcohol ranging from 0.04mg/dL to 0.08mg/dL on average (~ equivalent to a thimbleful of beer) - that's about 1,000-2000 times less than the drunk driving BAC limit of 80mg/dL. It's not a DUI defense but in rare cases can cause high BACs in some individuals where it is described (most awesomely) as "auto brewery syndrome".
None of us is ever truly sober. We might be abstaining from ingesting alcohol but it's always in our system albeit at very small concentrations. I do wonder what the total annual production of human endogenous alcohol is? I can't find any data on this but based on the instantaneous concentration and 24/7 production I think it's the equivalent of approx. a six pack of beer per year.
So, no AA member is ever truly free of alcohol. Doesn't this raise some important questions about AA's allergy theory? 1. How can alcoholics be allergic to a substance that the body naturally generates? 2. Since alcohol is always in our system and the presence of alcohol in our system generates a powerful and uncontrollable craving for more alcohol then logically all abstinent alcoholics should be craving alcohol 24/7/365 and would never achieve the nirvana of being "happy, joyous and free"?
I only wish that I had known this when I was going to AA meetings! I would just love to drop this IED (Intellectual Explosive Device) in a room full of oldtimers and see what happens.
Here are some links to the abstracts of reports on Endogenous alcohol production: http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/content/36/6/608.full, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10976182