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Dui Ambien


I’ve said it several times. You don’t need to be drinking alcohol to get caught for a California DUI. In fact, you don’t even need to be driving while under the influence of an illegal drug such as marijuana. A person can get arrested for driving under the influence after they’ve taken over-the-counter or prescription medications.

One of the most common afflictions in our stress-filled society is insomnia. With that said, some of the most prevalent medications on the market are sleep aids such as Ambien and Lunesta.

Unfortunately, like other medications that can affect a person’s ability to operate a vehicle, driving after taking sleep aids can lead to a California DUI. While a person who takes a sleep aid might not have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent, they can certainly meet the requirements of California’s “B count” which says that a person is still guilty of a DUI if they cannot operate a vehicle with the same caution as a sober person.

This can likely be true if the person takes the medication and voluntarily hops in their car for a drive. But what if the person takes Ambien, hits the sack, sleep walks straight into their vehicle, unconsciously starts the car, and drives down the street?

It’s called sleep driving and unfortunately it has become the basis for some California DUI charges appropriately dubbed “DUI Ambien.”

The FDA defines “sleep driving” as “driving while not fully awake after ingestion of a sedative-hypnotic product, with no memory of the event.”

In 2007, the FDA ordered the manufacturers of these sleep aids to warn users that the medications can cause sleep driving both on the label and in the prescription medication guide. This is important because it acknowledged that sleep driving is involuntary. In order to be guilty of a crime, a person must either commit the crime voluntarily, or commit the act voluntarily. If sleep driving is done while sleeping, it is involuntarily.

Some courts however consider the taking of the medication, knowing that one of the side effects is sleep driving, the voluntary act necessary to commit the crime for driving under the influence.

So while you’re out buying your Ambien, be sure to pick up some rope to tie yourself down while sleeping. Without it, you might just find yourself waking up to a DUI investigation.

The post DUI Ambien appeared first on Law Offices of Taylor and Taylor - DUI Central.

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