January 2013 – Case dropped in Ambien related “sleep driving” DUI crash

Tampa DUI lawyer defends Ambien related DUI cases

If you’ve taken Ambien, Lunesta, or another sleep aid, you may be arrested for an “unintentional” DUI.

Quick summary of the Tampa DUI case: Client was trying to be responsible. He hired a taxi to serve as his designated driver, and went out for an evening of drinking and socializing. He admits that he got drunk, but when he got home, he didn’t intend to drive. Instead, he took an Ambien sleep aid, and went to sleep.

When he woke up, he was in jail!

In between going to sleep and waking up in jail, the client had evidently gotten into his car, driven, and caused two car crashes. In addition to the two DUI Accident charges, he was also charged with two counts of Leaving the Scene of an Accident because he (unknowingly) fled the scene of both crashes. If he was convicted, this would have been his third and fourth DUI convictions, and they both would have been felony convictions.

DUI defense: This case was won with pre-trial preparation and negotiations with the prosecutor, showing him the effects of Ambien and the client’s out-of-the-ordinary attempts to avoid driving. Luckily, I had attended the National College for DUI Defense’s Winter Session training program, which included extensive training on defending Ambien and sleep-aid induced DUI cases. (That’s why you should always make sure your Tampa DUI attorney makes a heavy investment in their DUI training, because if they don’t keep up with the latest defenses, you may end up pleading guilty to a DUI that you don’t deserve).

Results: The prosecutor agreed to completely drop both of the DUI Accident charges.

How this helps your Tampa DUI case: If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Hillsborough County and you have taken Ambien, Lunesta, or any other type of sleep aid, you may be able to convince the prosecutor that you shouldn’t be convicted of a DUI. Cases like this require hours and hours of pre-trial investigation and preparation, so you should hire an experienced Tampa DUI attorney who has the knowledge and is willing to invest the time preparing the case if you want to improve your chances of avoiding a DUI conviction.

If you were arrested for DUI, no matter how bad the case looks, don’t ever plead guilty without first talking to a Tampa DUI lawyer. There may even be a way that can get your charges dismissed, but you’ll never know unless you fight your charges by talking to a Tampa DUI attorney. Please call me at (855) THE-DUI-GUY (855-843-3844) TODAY to discuss how I can help.