In most states a driver can be convicted of DUI or driving under the influence even if they are taking a prescription medication. In most states, the fact that it is a prescription medication will not change the fact that their driving was impaired and state laws require drivers to only drive if they can do so safely.
Additionally, Ambien is considered a sedative and there are clear warnings given to users who consume this medication to exercise extreme caution if they are going to drive or use heavy machinery. In fact, the instructions for this particular medication warn that an individual should sleep for approximately 7 to 8 hours continuously after taking this drug.
Could my son have driven without knowing it?
There are instances which have been reported by the manufacturers of Ambien that some people have done activities on the medication which they are completely unaware they have done. For instance, although it is rare, there have been drivers who have gotten in a car and driven while taking Ambien and not remembered they drove. The company refers to this action as sleep-driving.
Drug Use and Driving Under the Influence
Typically in a DUI case it will not matter to the state what drug the person has ingested. If the drug affects the person’s capacity to drive safely, either mentally or physically, they can be charged with driving under the influence. This will generally include over the counter medications as well as illegal drugs.
What is considered a drug? In most states the definitions are similar. It is basically any substance which has the ability to affect the muscles or nervous system of the driver to such a degree that they are no longer able to drive with the caution and ability that a “ordinarily prudent and cautious person, using reasonable care” would use to drive under similar driving conditions.
What driving under the influence penalties will my son face if convicted of DUI?
If your son is found guilty of violating the Oregon DUI laws for taking Ambien he will be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor (if this is his first offense within five years). Fines for a first offense are two-hundred and fifty dollars and mandatory treatment and evaluation in an appropriate alcohol addiction treatment program.
What should I do to help my son fight the driving under the influence charges?
If your son has been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs in the state of Oregon it is time to talk to a DUI lawyer. Oregon DUI lawyers handle driving under the influence cases like this all the time and have the expertise and knowledge to evaluate your son’s Oregon Driving under the influence case and determine if he will be able to defend himself against these charges or if it is best to fight for some type of plea agreement.
- DUI: Can I win my drunk driving charge if BAC was 0.0%? (duiattorneyhome.com)
- DWI for Drug Use in North Carolina (duiattorneyhome.com)
- DUI – Posting Bond (duiattorneyhome.com)