Ambien DUI - VC 23152

Charges of DUI of sleeping pills is complicated. It is hard to prove the “sleep driving” phenomenon or driving while not fully awake after taking a sleeping pill. This means that sedative-hypnotic sleeping substances have the ability to induce people into doing things that they are not fully conscious of, such as driving. However, is has been proven in certain cases that this is not an effective argument for defending a DUI of sleeping pill charges. According to California Vehicle Code 23152(e), driving under the influence of sleeping pills such as Lunesta or Ambien is regarded as a criminal offense. Ambien is one sleeping pill that is known to impair drivers.

Scenarios in which you may be arrested for DUI

There are two common scenarios in which you may be arrested for DUI of sleeping pills:

  • You drove while suffering from the "next day" effect. This means were experiencing a continued drowsiness after waking up from drug-induced sleep.
  • You took drugs before driving home, but the drug “kicked in’ before you got home.

In such cases, the officer might arrest you for driving under influence of sleeping pills. Sleeping pills do have the ability to heavily effect your driving ability by helping you fall asleep faster by producing a calming effect on your brain. Ambien, otherwise known as Zolpidem, is used to treat insomnia in adults by helping you fall asleep faster and better. Side effects such a dizziness or drowsiness may also occur.

What are penalties for DUI of Ambien in California?

In California DUID can either be prosecuted as a misdemeanor, or as felony. Consequences for both of these situations usually include fines, a suspension of your driver’s license, DUI School, or even jail time.

Penalties for misdemeanor

Simple Ambien DUI charges are filed as a misdemeanor with the following penalties:

  • A fine
  • 3 to 5 years of DUI probation
  • Completion of a California DUI school program
  • Suspension of your driving license
  • Possible jail

However, DUI of sleeping pills may be categorized as a felony if you have a prior conviction for felony DUI, caused bodily injury to another person, or you have three or more prior convictions of any form of DUI.

What are the possible defenses to Ambien DUI charges?

You can defend against an Ambien DUI charge by arguing:

  • You were not asleep while driving.
  • You were not driving at the time of arrest. Although you may have been under the effect of a sedative-hypnotic sleeping substance, you may have just been sitting in the car, for example.
  • The traffic stop was illegal.
  • Your driving was not impaired.
  • You did not exceed the recommended dosage.
  • Did not combine Ambien with other drugs.

As required by law, Ambien must be labelled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as sleep inducing. That will serve to warn users against taking the drug while they have a sensitive operation or activity they intend to undertake. The warning should be clearly indicated on the bottle and on the product medication guide.

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