Ambien and Sleeping Medication
Most people know that driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal, but many are surprised to find out that it is also illegal to operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs, including common sleeping aids. Because the law prohibits driving under the influence of both illegal drugs and legal drugs, drivers could face criminal charges for being under the influence of Ambien while behind the wheel. Being under the influence includes experiencing unintended side effects and after effects. Our clients have been arrested in surprising situations, including on the way to work in the morning and during semi-conscious or unconscious sleepwalking episodes.
If you have been accused of driving while under the influence of Ambien or another sleeping aid, contact The Law Offices of Todd Landgren for help right away. Get in touch with us by phone at 949-535-1303 or submit your information via the form on our website to schedule a free consultation regarding your case.
How Ambien (Zolpidem) Affects Drivers
Ambien is a prescription medication that is used to treat insomnia and other sleeping disorders. Ambien induces drowsiness to help you fall asleep, but it does not necessarily keep you asleep.
The dangers of drowsy driving have been documented in various research studies. Being drowsy can affect a driver’s reaction time, awareness of his surroundings, and judgment. Because Ambien is designed to make users feel drowsy, no one should take this medication if they plan on driving.
Some people may start to sleepwalk as a result of taking Ambien, while others may experience vivid hallucinations. These symptoms can become so severe that people may not know where they are or what they are doing while operating a vehicle. If a driver is not fully aware of their surroundings, there is no way for them to safely operate a vehicle.
Many of our clients have reported taking an Ambien pill before going to bed, then losing a period of memory. We have deduced that patients sometimes take this medication before going to sleep, then awake and take another pill without remembering that they already had a dose of the medication that night.
When Is A Criminal Charge Filed?
The law states a driver is impaired when they are unable to operate a vehicle in the same way that a sober driver would under similar circumstances. Drivers typically face misdemeanor charges for driving under the influence of Ambien, however, this crime is classified as a felony in some cases.
If a driver has taken Ambien, he or she cannot be automatically charged with DUID based on this fact alone. Criminal charges can only be maintained if the medication has legally impaired the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle. The law requires the prosecutor to show factual proof beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt to convict you. The driver must have also been legally conscious at the time of driving. This and other affirmative defenses can prevent your conviction even if you were driving under the influence.
Our skilled lawyers have been effectively defending DUI cases using the aforementioned fundamentals of criminal defense and much more finessed and nuanced strategies in thousands of cases just like yours.
Contact Our Law Firm To Set Up A Free Consultation With Our Award-Winning Lawyers
From the moment we are hired, our Ambien DUID attorneys will look for opportunities to weaken the prosecution’s case and fight for your freedom. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about how a DUI attorney in our office can protect your rights after a drugged or drunk driving arrest.
During this consultation, we will make sure that you understand the crimes that you are being accused of committing and discuss your legal options. To schedule a free consultation, call 949-535-1303 or fill out the form on our website today.