How Ambien Use Can Lead to DUI Charges
There is no legal defense in the state of California that protects you
from a driving-under-the-influence charge associated with prescription-drug
use. In fact, Ambien or sleeping pills is one of the top reasons why motorists
are charged with intoxication today. In the eyes of the law, Ambien is
just as hazardous as alcohol when it's mixed with driving on the roads.
Whether you just took Ambien or are recovering from its effects, your
ability to drive is significantly diminished.
People charged with intoxication while under the influence of sleeping
pills refer to their situation as an "Ambien Defense." Ambien's
influence creates a dream-like state in drivers where they act differently
than they do when completely awake. Violent behaviors have also been associated
with Ambien and DUI situations.
Because Ambien takes a long time to filter out of your system, drivers
are especially vulnerable to DUI charges in the morning. Although Ambien
has been around since 1992, these prescription pills are slowly becoming
the new age of drunk-driving charges.
Ambien and Its Association With Violence
There have been many publicized accounts of violent behavior while under
the influence of Ambien. The Fort Hood murders in 2014 and various other
assaults carried out by people who recently used Ambien have created concern
over its influence on human behavior. However, there is no evidence that
directly links Ambien to violent moods. Ambien can have a few side effects, such as:
• Unusual behavior
Ambien experts point to underlying causes for these violent acts instead
of the drug itself. Many people taking Ambien may already have psychological
problems, such as depression or anxiety. It's these disorders that
are manifesting in Ambien users when a substance charge is brought against a driver.
Understanding Ambien Regulation
Ambien's manufacturers want to continue with their successful drug
in the marketplace, but regulators are watching it closely. It's being
seen more often on the streets than in years past, which creates issues
when people are pulled over for poor driving habits. Ideally, regulators
want to see bold and clear labels on the Ambien bottles in order to warn
people of driving influences. When people take responsibility for their
prescription-drug use, a criminal defense attorney shouldn't be necessary
after an innocent drive into town.
Regulators became involved when many high-profile people were being charged
with intoxicated driving. In the past few years, Kerry Kennedy and Governor
Andrew Cuomo's wife were caught with Ambien in their systems as they
drove in their respective neighborhoods. No one was hurt in either case,
but property and reputation damage took its toll. If Ambien could affect
innocent people trying to satisfy their sleeping needs, it would make
anyone vulnerable on the road.
It's critical to avoid operating any machinery if you suspect Ambien
is still in your system. A charge against you requires a lawyer in order
to fight certain issues, such as:
• Suspended driver's license
• Jail time
Learning More About Ambien
Before you start taking Ambien, discuss all of the potential side effects
with your doctor. Your medical history is unique so your body will react
to the medication in specific ways. When you first take it, avoid any
driving both before and after the medication takes effect. You want to
see how it affects you without harming yourself or others on the road.
There are other drugs that are similar to Ambien which should be used with
caution, such as:
Each one of these medications can have serious effects on your driving
abilities. In fact, they're some of the top substances found in drivers'
systems after accidents and questionable driving techniques. You don't
want to have any moving violations on your record.
If you find yourself faced with an intoxication charge, it's important
to speak to a legal professional immediately following the incident. With
the charges fresh in your mind, your lawyer can create a defense that
works for you.
Getting In Touch With Professionals
Contact criminal defense and driving-under-the-influence attorney Scott
Henry today at 888-900-0951. He is part of the Riverside, San Bernardino
and Orange County's leading DUI defense law firm. With our top lawyer
defending your case, you'll be able to move past your intoxication
charge and hit the open road again.