DUI Lawyer Richmond Virginia – Ambien and DUI Charges

Over-The-Counter & Prescription Drug DUI Charges

Recently there have been several high-profile arrests for DUI. Cases where the driver had taken the prescription drug Ambien. Boone Beale, your DUI defense lawyer in Richmond, VA wants you to know more about DUIs caused by sleep medicine, also known as “sleep-driving.”

Sleep driving is a strange but true side effect of the drug, which causes users of Ambien to get out of bed and drive their cars while still asleep – and the drivers have no memory of their actions. Some sleep drivers have had accidents, and others have been found by police, stopped in the middle of roads, soundly asleep. When they are woken up, they are incredibly disoriented. Doctors have also found that some sleep driving patients have had seizures during their episodes.

The Ambien medication guide advises users that taking it “may cause you to get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing, including driving a car (‘sleep-driving’).” Unfortunately, many Ambien users refuse to believe this side effect can happen to them, even though there have been thousands of reported incidents in criminal dockets across the country and in the FDA’s Adverse Event Database.

Due to these adverse effects, the FDA has required Ambien’s label to carry a warning to the 39 million people who take it that the drug can cause them to eat, have sex or drive without knowing it and with no memory of their conduct. But it makes no mention of the legal ramifications that users face if they’re among the unlucky ones to suffer the side effect of sleep driving.

Pharmaceutical companies have not done any studies on sleep-driving, even though the FDA recommended that the drug makers investigate how and why sleep-driving happens. That may explain why, despite the required label change, physicians and patients continue to underappreciate the risk of it occurring.

If you or someone you love has been arrested for a DUI while under the influence of Ambien or another sleep medicine, please give Boone Beale, your DUI attorneys in Richmond, VA a call at 1-888-384-8946 today.