When a person is arrested for DUI of drugs, the right defense will depend on the facts of the case. When a person takes a sleeping medication such as Ambien, it could be that they are sleep-driving. What is this? And how can it help you fight a DUI charge? Keep reading to find out, and then contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.
The Basics of the Ambien Defense
This defense involves proving that you are not guilty of DUI of drugs because you were unknowingly driving a car after taking a sleep medication. This type of sleep-driving involves taking a drug that puts the person into a sleepwalking state and the person getting behind the wheel while driving. While Ambien is the most commonly known medication that can do this, there are others, such as Lunesta Prosom, Rozerem, Carbrital, and Butisol sodium.
Using the Ambien defense is very similar to when a person uses the legal defense of unconsciousness against any type of criminal charge. This can be a successful defense, but only if the defendant did not voluntarily induce their unconsciousness.
Warning Labels Can Disprove This Defense
One of the main ways that this defense can be found unsuccessful is if the person who is on the drugs was warned against side effects, and specifically if they were warned against side effects that can cause sleep-driving. If they are aware of this potential side effect, then it is usually considered to be a voluntary intoxication, which means that the Ambien defense is not successful.
Other Side Effects of Ambien
That said, Ambien has a lot of side effects, and when they work in conjunction with each other, they can cause serious issues. These side effects include daytime drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, and weakness.
The Potential Consequences of a Guilty Verdict for DUI of Drugs
If you are found guilty of or plead guilty to charges of DUI of drugs, you will have a misdemeanor charge against you. Generally speaking, a person who faced this charge and did not injure anyone in the course of their driving can expect to stay out of jail. There will likely be fines to pay of at least $1,000.
However, every case is different. If you are facing these or other DUI charges, you should contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 right away to request a free legal consultation. We are here to help you find the right solution to the legal problems you are facing.